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HEAL Position paper: Cancer Prevention and the Environment - examples and opportunities for national and EU policy makers

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) held the meeting on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 at its Brussels office. It provided an opportunity to share examples, firstly, of cancer prevention strategies that involve reducing environmental exposures and, secondly, of opportunities for cancer prevention through European Union (EU) environmental health policies. It marked the beginning of an informal European network on cancer prevention related to environmental factors. The term ‘environmental factors’ is often used differently - here the discussion pertained to ‘involuntary’ exposures such as those in the work place, from contaminants in food, air, water and soil, and chemicals in consumer products. Furthermore, in this workshop, the focus was on increasing incidence of cancer.

Below is a synopsis of the discussions and presentations arranged in the order of i) context; ii) strategies; iii) policy and iv) other opportunities; v) constraints; vi) good examples and perspectives from EU countries. Finally, some brief words of conclusion and next steps are given.

Last updated on 22 June 2011

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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