the failures of the environmental health plan

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Two reports each draw a damning balance sheet of the third national health-environment plan, in force between the beginning of 2015 and the end of 2019.

By Stéphane Foucart Posted today at 05:45, updated at 18:12

Time to Reading 5 min.

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In France, it happens that discretion is the counterpart of freedom. Delivered in December 2018 and published four months later without fanfare, two reports – one from the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (IGAS), the other from the General Council of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CGEDD) – each draws up a damning balance sheet of the third national health-environment plan (PNSE), in force between the beginning of 2015 and the end of 2019. These assessments will be examined, Tuesday, July 9, for the development of the future fourth PNSE, they say to the management General Health.

The two reports, which went unnoticed when they were published, essentially conclude that the current PNSE had no measurable positive health impact. "The report drawn by the inspectors is particularly distressing, says epidemiologist William Dab, professor at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts and former director general of health. It is very rare that, on a subject as important as the impact of the environment on health, a public policy is at such a level of failure. "

Instituted by the public health code, the PNSE is a national plan for the prevention of environmental health risks, which is supposed to take into account the effects "Chemical, biological and physical agents in the various living environments, including the workplace, as well as those of extreme weather events". The PNSE-3 is made up of one hundred and ten actions, more than twice as much as its previous version.

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Measures that are primarily communication

These measures are very diverse: "Develop and implement an interministerial asbestos roadmap", "Implement the protection of catchments used for the supply of drinking water against accidental and diffuse pollution", "Support the work related to the substitution of endocrine disrupting substances", "To reduce the black spots of noise"… To read the inspection reports, this inflation of measures is mainly communication. The action actually implemented is "Very relative", according to the IGAS.

The analysis of all the measures first reveals that " very little (…) aim to reduce exposure to harmful factors. About 65% consists of acquiring new knowledge about risks through measurements or research, 13% refers to other plans planned or in progress … But the "lead plan", for example, to which PNSE-3 refers, still does not exist. Finally, only 20% of the announced measures consist of " reply " to risks, either by taking charge of their consequences or by reducing the population's exposure.

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