Preface The environmental health landscape is changing quickly and dramatically, with new issues arising almost daily. Toxic chemicals, infectious diseases, hazardous waste, climate change, genetically modifi ed foods—the list of environmental health issues is almost endless. Yet, there are surprisingly few encyclopedias and other references covering the fi eld of environmental health that are up to date and relevant to the concerns of today. The decision to publish Environmental Health in the 21st Century: From Air Pollution to Zoonotic Diseases was born from a desire to provide a compre- hensive and concise resource for students, teachers, researchers, and the general public that presents the latest information in a convenient, encyclopedic format. The fi eld of environmental health is increasingly complex, interdisciplinary, and multifaceted, so much so that it is impossible for any one person, no matter how brilliant, to know everything there is to know about the fi eld. For this reason, we have brought together a team of experts in various aspects of environmental health to share their knowledge by preparing entries relevant to their expertise. These ex- perts include college and university professors, public health practitioners, physi- cians, research scientists, and other healthcare and environmental professionals. Additionally, lawyers prepared entries on relevant legislation, and environmen- tal librarians and journalists contributed entries about important historical events and personalities in the environmental health fi eld. In addition to cross-referenced entries on a wide range of topics related to human health and the environment, the text includes a history of environmental health, in- terviews with leading fi gures in the fi eld, a section on steps individuals can take to reduce their own environmental exposure, and a glossary. Also, a directory of re- sources is provided, and every entry includes a list of references for further reading. As an aid to locating entries related to the broader topics of environmental pollu- tion, health sciences, energy and climate, waste management, and the built envi- ronment, entries are tagged with icons representing these topic areas. All interviews that appear in the text were conducted by the editor, Richard Crume. One of the challenges in compiling the text was arriving at a defi nition of en- vironmental health to guide us in selecting subject matter. Unfortunately, there is no single defi nition that everyone agrees on. Instead, because of the breadth of the fi eld and overlap with public health, there is considerable variation in defi nitions among environmental health professionals and health agencies. After review of these defi nitions and consultation with experts, we selected the following World Health Organization defi nition as our starting point: Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors ex- ternal to a person, and all the related factors impacting behaviours. It encompasses
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