HEAL has high standards for its publications

The Human Ecologist is a benefit of HEAL membership and is also available to all as single issues. Published quarterly, The Human Ecologist is for anyone interested in a least toxic lifestyle. It is especially for people with sensitivities, allergies, asthma and other conditions responsive to environmental conditions. It offers news you can use to identify and reduce your exposures to hazardous materials, and information about least toxic alternatives to many troublesome substances. Each issue of The Human Ecologist also contains columns covering child health, health research, pest control, policy matters, and healthy homes. Columns on dentistry also appear frequently.

Here are some facts about how HEAL publications cover environment and health issues.

  • We're independent. HEAL's information services are funded by HEAL members and donors.
  • We seek out the best information sources. Information provided by HEAL is based on credible sources. For technical material, we use primary sources as much as possible: peer reviewed literature; technical publications produced by credentialed organizations; credentialed authors; agencies with relevant policies and publications; interviews with verified experts with credentials relevant to the topic under discussion. We cite newspapers, magazines and other media in order to portray media activity, not technical information. (What a prominent media source said about a topic may be important because it is prominent — and therefore influential.)
  • We identify our sources so that readers can verify our reporting. HEAL publications rely on primary sources as much as possible. We are aware that information published in professional journals can be erroneous, that books containing inaccurate information get published, and that agencies can and do indulge in "spin." However, reliance on secondary sources for technical information increases the odds that information is inaccurate, and therefore we do not rely on them. Newspaper and magazine accounts, even in major publications, have been known to be incomplete or inaccurate. You can find our sources' identities either in running text or in end note "Sources" sections, using links on-line as appropriate.
  • We know the difference between fact and opinion, and we make sure you do, too. We are aware that an opinion is largely a fact about the person whose opinion it is. The opinions of informed people (including HEAL’s writers and Governing Board) are well worth noting, but they do not have the same standing as facts arising from research.
  • We don't talk down to our readers. Our information is designed to be accessible to the general reader, without oversimplification, condescension, or blurring of distinctions. Environment and health issues are inherently complex, give rise to controversies, and do not lend themselves to "easy answers." HEAL members include professionals in science, medicine, government, education and law, as well as general readers from many walks of life and educational backgrounds. Since many issues of concern to HEAL and its members are cross-disciplinary, HEAL's information services are designed to facilitate communications among all interested parties, both professionals and the general public.
  • We're not afraid to run long, if a topic warrants it. HEAL print and online publications are not "infotainment." We believe that when people are concerned about their health, they want to know as much as possible. Details matter when it comes to health. For people who are concerned about their health and the health of their families, the "need to be entertained" by information sources is minimal.