Policy issues in environmental health disputes

Phil Brown, Stephen Zavestoski, Brian Mayer, Sabrina McCormick, Pamela S. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This article compares the state of policies concerning three different diseases/conditions with putative environmental factors: asthma, breast cancer, and Gulf War-related illnesses. By comparing the state of four different types of policies - research funding, regulations, compensation/treatment, and citizen participation - the authors demonstrate the dynamic relationship between policies and health social movements. They identify four factors that shape policy for these three diseases: the science base supporting the environmental causation hypothesis, prevalence and perception of risk, the sources of support for the environmental causation hypothesis, and the strength of health social movements. All four factors contribute to policy outcomes, but they find the strength of health social movements to be particularly important for the three diseases they examine. In some cases, social movement activity can be more important than the strength of the science base in terms of policy outcome success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-202
Number of pages28
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue numberNOV.
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Policy issues in environmental health disputes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this