NEHA December 2022 Journal of Environmental Health

42 Volume 85 • Number 5 A D VANC EME N T O F T H E PRACTICE AAS to advance a political or religious cause could seem to fall outside of the requirement in the NEHA code to “conduct myself in a professional manner befitting of my credentialed status.” I interpret the AAS code of conduct to mean that I should strongly consider removing my CEHS credential and my DAAS designation from my signature when authoring a newspaper editorial on a political or religious cause. And I am okay with striking that balance. AAS is not placing a limitation on my choice of free speech, rather the requirements of professional conduct limit me from potentially confusing the public by misrepresenting that AAS has an ocial position on a religious or political cause. For environmental health professionals, one area where we need to be especially mindful in our ethical behavior is the polarization often observed in the public around the meaning of human-induced climate change. In my opinion, our ethical approach to this challenge needs to consider four items. First, we need to stick to the best available science while acknowledging the inherent skepticism that is part of any good application of the scientific method. Second, we need to avoid confusing the public by associating our profession with a particular political position or religious view. And third, we need to remember that the ethics of environmental health include caring for human welfare and planetary health from local to global (Oerther, 2022). Fourth, and perhaps most important in my opinion, environmental health professionals need to help to create inclusive spaces for engagement where diverse views can be shared and true listening can occur. Past injustices have left a legacy of pain and disadvantage among many communities. These communities need to be heard and past injustices need to be addressed in the present so that the public can come together to tackle the shared challenges that face all of humanity. The resources of our shared planet are being stretched and the distribution of those resources among 8 billion humans is an opportunity for environmental health professionals to ensure the health and the protection of the public about whom we care deeply (Oerther et al., 2022). Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Vince Radke and Brian Collins for comments on an early draft of this column. Corresponding Author: Daniel B. Oerther, Professor, Environmental Health Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 1401 North Pine Street, Rolla, MO 65409. Email: References American Academy of Sanitarians. (2006a). American Academy of Sanitarians: Constitution. Documents/Constitution1.pdf American Academy of Sanitarians. (2006b). American Academy of Sanitarians: Bylaws. uments/bylaws1.pdf American Academy of Sanitarians. (2022). American Academy of Sanitarians: Bylaws. Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. (2022). Code of ethics for members and fitness to practise rules. media/3973/code-of-ethics-for-membersand-ftp.pdf Collins, B., & Moore, W.A. (2020). RISE to the call: Nondiscrimination, diversity, and inclusion. Journal of Environmental Health, 83(1), 32–33. National Environmental Health Association. (2022). Code of ethics for credentialed professionals. credential-code-of-ethics Oerther, D.B. (2021). Environmental health professionals: Local interprofessional collaborations require global thinking to meet shared ethical obligations. Journal of Environmental Health, 84(5), 26–28. Oerther, D.B. (2022). Is it time to decenter humans in our discussion of sustainable development? Environmental Engineering Science. Advanced online publication. Oerther, D.B., Gautham, L., & Folbre, N. (2022). Environmental engineering as care forhumanwelfareandplanetaryhealth. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 148(6), Article 04022029. 10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0002013 Show the world you are the environmental health expert you know you are with a credential. You might even earn more or get promoted. Stand out in the crowd.