Petroleum scarcity and public health: Considerations for local health departments

Daniel J. Barnett, Cindy L. Parker, Virginia A. Caine, Mary McKee, Lillian M. Shirley, Jonathan M. Links

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recognition of petroleum as a finite global resource has spurred increasing interest in the intersection between petroleum scarcity and public health. Local health departments represent a critical yet highly vulnerable component of the public health infrastructure. These frontline agencies currently face daunting resource constraints and rely heavily on petroleum for vital population-based health services. Against this backdrop, petroleum scarcity may necessitate reconfiguring local public health service approaches. We describe the anticipated impacts of petroleum scarcity on local health departments, recommend the use of the 10 Essential Public Health Services as a framework for examining attendant operational challenges and potential responses to them, and describe approaches that local health departments and their stakeholders could consider as part of timely planning efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1580-1586
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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