Environmental Health in Israel | 2014

This report demonstrates many of the successes that have been achieved in legislation, regulation, and policy in the field of environmental health in Israel. The report also highlights the ongoing progress in this field, as many regulations related to environmental health in Israel are currently being updated (i.e. regulations related to pesticides in food and agricultural drift, regulations related to smoking in public places, legislation related to chemicals in personal care products). In some cases, Israeli standards are better than those in other developed countries, but not in all. For example, ambient air quality standards often exceed those of the WHO or the United States. However, Israel has an impressive array of air monitoring stations in many, but not all, areas of the country. In contrast to ambient air, indoor air is largely unregulated, and depends on voluntary policies. Since even in Israel, most people spend the majority of their time indoors, more attention to indoor air standards would bring large benefits, for example, in the area of asthma prevention and control by reducing biological triggers (e.g., dust mites, cockroaches, mold), VOCs, particulates, and NOx. Drinking water standards overall are appropriate and up-to-date. While setting the lead standard at 10µg/L is reasonable, given all of the information that there is no safe level of lead, the goal should be to reduce lead in drinking water to zero. Israel has the dubious honor of having the highest relative use of pesticides of many developed countries. However, there are requirements for appropriate distances between pesticide application and homes and schools. Whether these are actually enforced is another issue. More attention Conclusions and Recommendations Linda S. Birnbaum , PhD, D.A.B.T., A.T.S Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program - 89 - Conclusions and Recommendations

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