Current Environmental Health Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 109–118 | Cite as

Evidence Regarding the Impact of Conflicts of Interest on Environmental and Occupational Health Research

  • Ellen M. Wells
Ethics and Policy (M Tondel, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Ethics and Policy


Purpose of Review

This review describes published literature providing evidence for financial conflicts of interest in environmental and occupational health research. Secondary goals were to describe evidence that (a) utilized quantitative methods to evaluate the association of conflicts with study outcomes, and (b) assessed undisclosed as well as disclosed conflicts of interest.

Recent Findings

Forty-three studies were identified which contained descriptions of the impact of financial conflicts of interest on research results; 11 of these conducted quantitative analyses to demonstrate these relationships.


All 11 articles which quantified associations identified significant associations of the presence of financial conflicts of interest with study findings. In studies which measured undisclosed conflicts, these comprised a substantial proportion of all conflicts. Suggestions for improving understanding and interpretation of research results are presented.


Conflict of interest Environmental health Occupational health Environmental tobacco smoke 



The author wishes to thank Jane Yactilla and Zainab Hasan for their assistance in preparing this work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Ellen M. Wells is a member of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology’s Ethics and Philosophy Committee.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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