Commissioner: Maureen McTeer, LLM
“Clean air, soil and water are essential to human health. The impact of their pollution poses one of the greatest public health and human rights challenges we will face this century. Investing in cleaning up pollution from all sources, and ensuring effective regulatory oversight for the introduction and use of all chemical and other toxins is essential. This special Report shows us how these objectives can be achieved.”
Maureen McTeer is a Canadian lawyer and author and an adjunct professor in the field of law, science and public policy at the faculty of common law at the University of Ottawa. An activist and advocate for women’s equality and health, she continues to urge greater public participation in shaping the public policies and laws that will improve human health and well-being.
Why did you decide to join the Commission on Pollution + Health?
I joined the Commission to add my legal knowledge, public policy experience and contacts to its work of preparing the Report and ensuring action on its recommendations.
What impact will the work of the Commission have?
The Commission will have a long-lasting impact in several ways. It will provide the evidence upon which governments at all levels can rely to introduce and enforce effective public policy and laws to prevent and clean up pollution in all its forms.
How can we overcome obstacles to progress in the fight against pollution?
Public education is a key way to ensure healthier environments. Enlightened primary and secondary curricula on the causes, impacts and prevention of all forms of pollution is important to help raise a generation that understands and is committed to clean air, water and soil.
What changes do you hope to see in your lifetime?
I look for systemic change that will hold polluters legally and financially accountable for their actions and the damage they cause to human health and our environments.
The Commission on Pollution and Health is an initiative of The Lancet, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, with coordination from the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank. Commissioners include many of the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of pollution management, environmental health and sustainable development.