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Environmental Health: Advancing Emancipatory Policies for the Common Good

Valentine-Maher, Sarah, K., MSN, RN, FNP; Butterfield, Patricia, G., PhD, RN, FAAN; Laustsen, Gary, PhD, RN, FNP, FAANP, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000194
Feature Articles

Human health is substantially impacted by the state of the environment, and environmental degradation has a disproportionate impact on persons with less immediate access to financial and social power. This article calls for upstream nursing action to address the natural environment in order to turn about health injustices and improve health for all. Such action would move nursing towards a greater actualization of the nursing environmental domain. The health impacts of climate change, air and water quality, and toxic chemical exposure are substantiated and specific policy leadership recommendations are proposed. Recommended actions include work to build environmental health literacy and empowerment, advocacy for regulatory protection and enforcement, and environmental engagement within health care systems.

University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing, Amherst (Ms Valentine-Maher); Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University, Spokane (Dr Butterfield); and Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing, Portland (Dr Laustsen).

Correspondence: Sarah K. Valentine-Maher, MSN, RN, FNP, Rm. 126 Skinner Hall, College of Nursing, UMass Amherst, 651 North Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01003-9277 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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