Reducing Community Exposure to Toxics: A Critical Component in Building Healthy and Sustainable Communities

  • Robert C. Wingfield
Conference paper


Reducing the community’s exposure to environmental toxics is very critical to achieving success in building healthy and sustainable communities. Reduced exposure to environmental toxics is quite a challenge because of the complexity of life in our communities. The reality is that certain populations have historically suffered and continue to suffer disproportionate exposure to environmental toxics. Often these same populations suffer disproportionately from poor health outcomes from diseases in which there are disparities in the incidence of their occurrence. The problem is further complicated by the many social, economic and political factors operative in these impacted communities. It is most important that the voice of the community be heard in addressing these issues.

The work of many researchers has shown the presence of toxic materials in the bodies of community residents worldwide. The toxicology of many of these substances has been studied, whereas the health impact of the various mixtures of toxic substances remains under investigation. Children represent a very vulnerable population. Despite programs and efforts to reduce exposure to toxic substances, toxic substances still are still released into the environment in millions of pounds a year. These toxic substances move throughout the environment and undergo chemical transformations sometimes to less desirable chemical substances. New environmental toxics are being identified each year as new materials are being introduced into use by our society. Changing lifestyles such as the move from rural to urban communities as well as urban sprawl is affecting the exposure of populations worldwide. Access to clean and sustainable water now ranks as high as the need for sustainable energy in importance to the development of communities and countries.


Blood Lead Level Toxic Material Elemental Mercury Environmental Toxic Sustainable Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The project described was supported in part by Grant Number U45ES006184 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences or the National Institute of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Wingfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryFisk UniversityNashvilleUSA

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