Wilson, S H Merkle, S Brown, D Moskowitz, J Hurley, D Brown, D Bailey, B J McClain, M Misenhimer, M Buckalew, J Burks, T
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.
The National Association of Physicians for the Environment (NAPE) has assumed a leadership role in protecting environmental health in recent years. The Committee of Biomedical Research Leaders was convened at the recent NAPE Leadership Conference: Biomedical Research and the Environment held on 1--2 November 1999, at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. This report summarizes the discussion of the committee and its recommendations. The charge to the committee was to raise and address issues that will promote and sustain environmental health, safety, and energy efficiency within the biomedical community. Leaders from every important research sector (industry laboratories, academic health centers and institutes, hospitals and care facilities, Federal laboratories, and community-based research facilities) were gathered in this committee to discuss issues relevant to promoting environmental health. The conference and this report focus on the themes of environmental stewardship, sustainable development and "best greening practices." Environmental stewardship, an emerging theme within and outside the biomedical community, symbolizes the effort to provide an integrated, synthesized, and concerted effort to protect the health of the environment in both the present and the future. The primary goal established by the committee is to promote environmentally responsible leadership in the biomedical research community. Key outcomes of the committee's discussion and deliberation were a) the need for a central organization to evaluate, promote, and oversee efforts in environmental stewardship; and b) immediate need to facilitate efficient information transfer relevant to protecting the global environment through a database/clearinghouse. Means to fulfill these needs are discussed in this report.