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A blog to increase public knowledge about environmental health by sharing our concerns and our work as well as information you can use in your daily life.

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CDC’s Tracking Network in Action

Categories: Emergency and Environmental Health Services, National Center for Environmental Health

Tracking

CDC’s Tracking Network continues to develop new and innovative tools to make
environmental and health connections easier to understand.

Earlier this year, CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program’s “Tracking in Action” video series won the NCEH “Excellence in Communications” award for setting itself apart from other communications products with its high-caliber production quality

NCEH Designs Criteria for Obtaining Sustainable Community Status

Categories: Emergency and Environmental Health Services, National Center for Environmental Health

Musicians perform in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts as part of the city's annual Jazz Festival. Northampton is recognized as a 5-Star sustainable community for its mix of healthy environment, strong economy and concern for its residents.

Musicians perform in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts as part of the city’s annual Jazz Festival. Northampton is recognized as a 5-Star sustainable community for its mix of healthy environment, strong economy and concern for its residents.

In a perfect world, every community will be a utopia. Can you picture it?

Imagine a place where residents have plenty of peace and quiet, educational offerings, arts and cultural centers, jobs in a robust economy, civil engagement and participation, recreational offerings, and plenty of green space.

Residents will breathe fresh air, drink clean water, eat affordable and healthy foods, and live in safe and affordable housing. Everyone will have access to public transportation or be able to walk or bike to school or work. It’s a community about which some people dream.

Sustainable communities don’t have to be unreachable fantasies.

Native American Heritage Month

Categories: Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Voices from the Field

Tracking Environmental Health Data about Native Americans

“Data” is a buzzword in public health, but what does the word mean for the rest of us? Gathering data may sound like a snooze to non-scientists, but it is actually the beginning of scientific investigation. Whenever scientists and doctors are searching for the cause of a disease outbreak, data are the facts and statistics that help them find the answer.

Who Needs Data– and Why?

tracking network

Data are also essential for making decisions about actions affecting public health. They help epidemiologists (disease detectives) identify people with health problems. Data on soil, air, and water quality help them learn if environmental issues could be one of the factors contributing to those health problems. In fact, all exciting scientific investigations begin with what may seem like the tedious task of deciding what data to collect and how to collect it.

The NCEH Environmental Public Health Tracking Branch is all about data.

Woman’s Worry Prompts CDC/ATSDR Outreach on Testing Private Wells

Categories: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Investigations, Toxic Substances, Voices from the Field

In the “Voices from the Field” blog series, NCEH and ATSDR staff tell us about their work in communities, states, tribal territories, and even other countries. Read about how ATSDR Region 9 employees Ben Gerhardstein and Jamie Rayman discovered a critical need for accurate information in an Arizona community and created educational materials that everyone can use.

Thinkstock Image

What if you learned that your well water was contaminated with a dangerous chemical? Where would you go for valid scientific information about your family’s health risks? How could you find out what to do next?

At a 2013 public meeting in Arizona mining country, ATSDR region 9 staff members Ben Gerhardstein and Jamie Rayman met a mother who wept as she told about her family’s experience with contaminated well water. Her family and many others in rural Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, use private groundwater wells for their drinking water. She had recently learned that her family had been drinking water from a well with arsenic levels above what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe.

NCEH’s Tobacco Laboratory helps FDA carry out the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act

Categories: Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health

Thinkstock Image

Thinkstock Image

Tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chew, and pipe tobacco abound with harmful chemicals. The smoke from tobacco products contains more than 7,000 chemical components, and at least 250 are known to harm people’s health.

In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products. When FDA makes decisions about how to regulate tobacco products, they consider how their actions will affect the entire population.

NCEH helps FDA with key data

To gain information on tobacco and health, FDA sought the help of the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) tobacco laboratory.

Save Energy and Resources This Holiday Season

Categories: National Center for Environmental Health

Holiday Season

November 15 is America Recycles Day. When you save energy and resources, you protect the environment and safeguard health both now and for the future.

At this time of year, many of us are already preparing for the winter holidays ahead. Although we want to enjoy the fun and spirit of the season, we may not want to overspend or waste resources in the process.

Early Winter Weather

Categories: Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Severe Weather

Snow covered street

While some sections of the United States have not yet seen their first snow, some areas have already felt winter’s icy blast. Winter weather presents challenges, but you can remain safe and healthy if you are prepared to meet them.

Indoor Safety

You may prefer to remain indoors in the winter as much as possible, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm even if you lose power.

CDC and Planners Bring Healthy Design to Communities

Categories: Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health

Woman walking in a healthy community.

Woman walking in a healthy community. Thinkstock photo.

Health professionals and community planners know that health starts where you live, learn, work, and play. They support the design and development of communities that encourage healthy behaviors, quality of life, and social connectedness. Learn how one planning firm is using National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) resources to ensure healthy community design.

HKS, a global architecture firm that focuses on healthcare design, with an office in Atlanta, is working on a proposed plan that would create a health district around the DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia. The availability of health resources has made the area more attractive to seniors; the plan would give good infrastructure for creating a healthy and safe community environment.

The draft of the plan contains a copy of one of the CDC resources HKS used to develop the plan with community members:

Prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning

Categories: Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Toxic Substances

CO

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 2, 2014. As you prepare to set your clocks back one hour, remember to check or change the batteries in your carbon monoxide (CO) detector.

If you don’t have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO alarm, now is a great time to buy one. At least 430 people die each year in the US from unintentional, non-fire related CO poisoning.

CO is found in fumes produced by furnaces, vehicles, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or burning charcoal or wood.

In California, Community Advocates Have a Seat at the Table

Categories: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Sharing Our Stories, Toxic Substances

CDPH site-assement What is a “roundtable”? It’s more than a circular surface to host meals or hold a meeting. For the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the term has come to mean a way to bring together environmental health experts and community advocates to meet, share their stories, and learn from each other. As with King Arthur’s legendary roundtable, the term implies an equal voice for all who participate.

In 2006, the CDPH Site Assessment Section (SAS) decided to host an annual roundtable meeting

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