TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
In order to use our personnel and other resources most effectively, we need to recognize that the environmental health practitioner and the environmentalist are two sides of the same coin. Before the formation of the US EPA and of the subsequent state environmental protection agencies or pollution control agencies, typically the same practitioner was responsible for most environmental issues including air, water, and land pollution and the resulting potential for disease and injury. Today, environmental health practitioners, in government and industry, including environmental health specialists, environmental engineers, occupational health and safety specialists, and public health professionals, work toward preventing disease and injury and promoting health while protecting the environment. Environmentalists including environmental protection specialists, pollution control specialists, environmental sustainability specialists, energy specialists involved with carbon-based fuels, natural resources and conservation specialists, environmental science specialists, industrial water and waste specialists, renewable energy specialists, outdoor environmental specialists, environmental law and policy specialists, environmental advocacy and communications specialists, earth science specialists, environmental conservation specialists, and others protect and preserve the environment while also helping to prevent disease and injury to people.
It is essential that all environmental professionals have a broad understanding of the potential of collateral damage which may occur when a change is made to one environmental area. Since most environmental health or environmental protection people are specialists rather than generalists, it is necessary to have a broad understanding of all environmental areas and their potential interactions. This is one of the major reasons for writing a book of this nature.