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Research on Environmental Health Interventions: Ethical Problems and Solutions

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This article reviews a variety of ethical issues one must consider when conducting research on environmental health interventions on human subjects. The paper uses the Kennedy Krieger Institute lead abatement study as well as a hypothetical asthma study to discuss questions concerning benefits and risks, risk minimization, safety monitoring, the duty to warn, the duty to report, the use of control groups, informed consent, equitable subject selection, privacy, conflicts of interest, and community consultation. Research on environmental health interventions can make an important contribution to our understanding of human health and disease prevention, provided it is conducted in a manner that meets prevailing scientific, ethical, and legal standards for research on human subjects.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health 2: Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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