At the Second European Conference on Environment and Health, held in Helsinki in 1994, European ministers of health and the environment identified high-priority areas for research and recommended that the European Science Foundation (ESF) should work with the World Health Organisation’s Regional
Office for Europe (WHO-EURO) and the European Commission (EC) to identify future environment and health research needs.
A programme of scientific consultation was accordingly launched and, using a systematic approach, further research required to support the goals in the Helsinki Declaration on Action for Environment and Health in Europe was identified. At a multidisciplinary ESF update meeting, 45 leading scientists evaluated more than 80 detailed research recommendations and drew up a shortlist of 24 priority issues. Subsequently, policy-makers, scientists and representatives of non-governmental organisations and industry discussed this
shortlist at a joint EC/ESF/WHOEURO “consensus conference” and emphasised the need to understand better the relative risks and impacts of environmental hazards, in order to direct resources towards problems as efficiently as possible. The outcome of that conference is reported in this document.