Environmental health and hazardous waste issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border

Dean E. Carter, Carlos Peña, Robert Varady, William A. Suk

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Environmental health and environmental quality issues along the U.S.-Mexico border have been of concern for several years. The enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the presence of the maquiladoras (foreign-owned industries using imported raw materials) have intensified those concerns recently. Efforts to assess these issues are complicated by the fact that many of the issues affecting the border region are within federal jurisdiction, but the problems are regional and local in nature. Thus, state and local governments become involved with public concerns about real and potential problems. One major problem is that environmental health data from this region are lacking, particularly from Mexico. Some new agencies such as the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, and the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation have joined several existing agencies at the federal and state level to address environmental quality and health. Several studies have been initiated to determine air and water quality, but little is being done in the areas of hazardous waste and health assessment. Several problems are anticipated in the generation of such data, such as its format and accessibility. Data gaps and research needs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-594
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


  • Environmental health
  • Environmental quality
  • Hazardous waste
  • Mexico
  • U.S.-Mexico border

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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