Celebrating the 22nd edition of Clay's Handbook of Environmental Health

03 October 2022, Stephen Battersby, CIEH Vice President

CIEH CEO Dr Phil James, Vice President Stephen Battersby and President Julie Barratt

CIEH Chief Executive Phil James, Vice President Stephen Battersby and President Julie Barratt at 15Hatfields for the launch of the 22nd edition of Clay's Handbook of Environmental Health

The 22nd edition of Clay's Handbook of Environmental Health has recently been published by Routledge. The world has changed considerably over the three editions that I have edited, and even more so since the first edition was published in 1933.

To launch the publication a reception was held at CIEH’s sustainable venue 15Hatfields, with the support of RHE Global and Shield Safety. This provided an opportunity for a number of contributors, the publishers, and representatives of other organisations to meet. It also provided an opportunity for me to place on record my thanks to all 48 contributors. There would be no book without them, and they have all been very supportive - getting material and comments to me on time makes the editing process so much easier! This edition involved contributors from Australia and the USA, as we sought to make the handbook relevant internationally. Contributors include Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) in local government, private practice and government agencies, and I’ve had great support from colleagues in the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), as well as academics and lawyers.

It has been a difficult book to produce not least because of the pandemic but also my own health problems this past year, so it is a relief to see it published. It is a mighty tome but there is an electronic version available, and I’m sure that this will be more useful and accessible to colleagues around the world. At this time it is not possible for individual chapters to be made available electronically, but it is something to think about for the future.

This will be the last edition that I edit, although I am continuing to be the series editor of the Routledge Focus on Environmental Health book series. It is time for someone a little younger to take over.

Clay's Handbook of Environmental Health highlights the breadth of environmental health, from the seemingly mundane which might affect individual households to the complex that affects the planet. It shows the skills and knowledge that EHPs need to tackle threats to public health (environmental stressors), whether in the home, at work or leisure, in the food we eat, the water we drink, or the air we breathe. It addresses the technical aspects of environmental health as well as exploring thought-provoking contributions that encourage critical thinking. Prior to the pandemic, it seems that some directors of public health did not realise just what EHPs could do. This needs to be rectified to ensure that the work of EHPs is resourced and not only appreciated in the event of a pandemic or disaster.

There are a number of themes in the book:

  • Global heating and the climate emergency
  • The COVID-19 pandemic
  • The UK's leaving of the EU

These all have implications for environmental health and indeed the book also demonstrates the role of EHPs in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

I hope that this edition will make a contribution to educating not only EHPs but others around the world who seek to safeguard public and environmental health.

CIEH members save 20% when purchasing the 22nd edition of Clay's Handbook of Environmental Health using the exclusive discount code: ESA22*

*Valid until 31 December 2022

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