The article by Dr. Barry Johnson summarizes the fundamental facts on the important national and international documents on U.S. environmental health policy. The article presents the structure of government agencies on environment and public health, as well as their missions and responsibilities. The paper presents extensive case study example to support the ideas. The article also presents information that is beyond the scope of the volume. This opens way for future researchers to advance the studies on the areas such as disinfecting by products to make it environmental friendly. The author goes ahead to specify on some topics beyond the scope of the volume such as prevention of injuries and indoor air issues like environmental tobacco issues, (Matner, 2006).
For Johnson, environmental safety is the key to public health protection and he describes some practical realities for achieving long-term environmental safety that reduces health risks. His article provides a wider view of the arguments inherent in environmental health policy as presented in the articles by other authors. The article is enriched with quotes from documents and representatives of specific arguments such as regarding cap and trade policies. The author’s views on practical and philosophical issues are made known to the reader and he expresses his opinions about the wisdom and success of various individuals, their decisions and actions in the last 30 years. He criticizes the recent New Source Review exceptions under the Clean Air Act and comments specifically on past controversies and the means by which they were resolved, such as the “brouhaha” on the drinking water standards for arsenic, (Calyn and Lwanga, 2008).
Matner argues that the article further cut across major topics such as balancing risks, costs and benefits and the structure of authority between environmental and health agencies. To further enrich the text, the author discusses some emerging issues such as climate change in context of United Nations programs, (Matner, 2006).
According to Matner, the strengths of this article are its practical approach and the real examples used. This increases the validity of the research findings and makes it effective in implementation. The author’s discussion of emerging issues such as climate change is a major boost to the strength of his arguments, (Matner, 2006).
He adds that the weaknesses of the article lie on the fact that some of the vast topics cancer issues are not adequately discussed and some of them are just mentioned. Some minor criticism of the article includes the statements relating to cultural anthropology or political history which are not referenced. The reader is left wondering about the source of information. Some readers may disagree with the author on the personalities and motivations of specific political administrative figures, (Matner, 2006).
The article can be used as a resourceful material for environmental health policy development for students, researchers and policy practitioners. I agree with the author’s approach to research as well as his analysis and conclusion. This is because of the practical approach that he uses in order to articulate his arguments. The practical cases captured in this text provide a concrete basis in support of the relevance of the article to the present and future policy developers. He not only also criticizes other documents, but also comments on them. His discussion of the emerging issues is very crucial. The government may find it beneficial to consider the article in developing and implementation of environmental policies, (Calyn and Lwanga, 2008).