Speakers further suggested that the currently proposed monitoring program has a number of limitations and that priorities would have to be established to ensure its success. This has led to many individuals and organizations to lay the groundwork for the program, by defining what the program would include and defining what environmental indicators are.

According to some speakers, environmental health indicators are tools for quantifying the scientific linkage between environment and health. They must be:

  • simple—one item;

  • measurable—comparable, quantifiable, and rankable;

  • defensible;

  • understandable—able to access information in a usable form;

  • credible—“unbiased source,” best science;

  • comprehensible;

  • actable;

  • responsive to local needs; and

  • reflective of societal values on environment and health.

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