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Your Health – Your Environment Blog

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.

What is Environmental Public Health?

Categories: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), National Center for Environmental Health

waterfall

April 22 marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day in the United States and the 22nd anniversary world-wide. Earth Day reminds us of our personal and collective responsibility to preserve and protect our environment. And protecting our environment also helps us protect our health.

For many, the word “environment” relates to the natural world—mountains, forests, rivers, oceans, animals, and the air around us.

Six Pathways at the Midnite Mine

Categories: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Investigations, Toxic Substances

lores pesticides

Multiple Exposure Pathways

Let’s face it: toxic substances are all around us. They are part of the natural and man-made world. That can be pretty frightening. But to cause harm, toxic substances must actually get into your body through your skin, eyes, digestive system, or lungs. And even if you do touch, swallow, or breathe these substances, they must reach certain levels in your body to cause damage.

What’s in the air?

Categories: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Investigations, Toxic Substances

EJ-post

April 13-19 is National Environmental Education Week. Both NCEH and ATSDR work to protect people from exposure to environmental public health hazards. The blog is featuring a series of six posts explaining exposure pathways or the ways in which people can come into contact with toxic substances. This post explains how people can be exposed to harmful substances in the air.

If you live downwind from a landfill, you know all about smelly air. If you live in a big city, you undoubtedly inhale car or bus exhaust fumes. No matter where we live, most of us have experience with unclean air. Sometimes communities where residents smell foul chemical odors from industrial

What’s in the Water?

Categories: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Emergency and Environmental Health Services, National Center for Environmental Health, Toxic Substances

NCEH and ATSDR participate in two week-long health observances during April: National Public Health Week (April 7-13) and National Environmental Education Week (April 13-19). Both NCEH and ATSDR work to protect people from exposure to environmental public health hazards. During the next two weeks, the blog will feature a series of six posts explaining exposure pathways or the ways in which people can come into contact with toxic substances. This is post two in the series.

tap water

Have you ever been seriously dehydrated? Maybe you exercised for too long or had a bout of gastrointestinal illness. Those are the times when you begin to understand how essential water is to your health and well-being.

Your body loses water by perspiring, eliminating waste, and even exhaling. That’s why drinking water throughout the day, especially in hot climates or during exercise, is essential.

Scientists Investigate Toxic Exposure

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

NCEH and ATSDR participate in two week-long health observances during April: National Public Health Week (April 7-13) and National Environmental Education Week (April 13-19). Both NCEH and ATSDR work to protect people from exposure to environmental public health hazards. During the next two weeks, the blog will feature a series of six posts explaining exposure pathways or the ways in which people can come into contact with toxic substances.

AandL Landfill

Residents of Lisbon, Ohio, smelled the “rotten egg” odor of hydrogen sulfide coming from a nearby landfill. People in El Dorado County, California, inhaled naturally occurring asbestos when they drove on dirt roads. Members of these communities were exposed to toxic substances during everyday activities right where they lived, worked, and played.

The prospect of toxic exposure is alarming to anyone. But Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) scientists can investigate

International Environmental Health

Categories: Emergency and Environmental Health Services, Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Toxic Substances, Voices from the Field

April 7 is World Health Day. Read about the ways the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) helps public health programs around the world.

Lead poisoning in Nigeria, mercury poisoning in Peru, liver disease in Ethiopia, pesticide poisoning in Bangladesh—around the world CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) helps investigate widespread health problems like these caused by environmental exposures.

The center responds to requests from the World Health Organization (WHO) or international health ministries for help when outbreaks of illness—often with no apparent cause—occur. International organizations know they can rely on NCEH’s epidemiologists and laboratory to help investigate and determine possible environmental causes.

Tornado Safety Tips

Categories: Emergency Preparedness, Emergency and Environmental Health Services, Severe Weather, Sharing Our Stories, Tornado

Alabama tornado damage, April 2011

Alabama tornado damage, April 2011

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) there is no guaranteed safety during a tornado. Indeed, we must take seriously even the possibility of a tornado. Although the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and those within it, extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are very rare. Most tornadoes are much weaker. You can survive a tornado if you follow safety precautions. Read more about ways to keep yourself and your family safe during a tornado.

Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) is a course developed by the Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services to prepare state and local health departments for disaster response. Read about EHTER and how public health responders used their training to respond to tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri.

Unpredictable Spring Weather

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

lighting

Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur within the same day.

Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur, bringing with them lightning, tornadoes and flooding.

Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes or flooding.

When severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense.

Environmental Health Water Programs

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

In 1993, the UN General Assembly declared March 22 as World Water Day. This post recognizes NCEH/ATSDR work to assure clean water.

Spring water

Can you remember a time when you were so thirsty you would have done almost anything for a glass of cool, refreshing water? Now imagine that the only water available to you is full of bacteria or chemicals that can make you sick. People across the globe face this dilemma daily. The world’s water supply is not unlimited and is not always safe.

Even in the United States, clean water is not always assured. Improper chemical disposal, naturally occurring substances such as arsenic, pesticides, animal and human wastes, improper water treatment, extreme weather events, and aging water distribution systems can contaminate our drinking water supply.

NCEH Works With Poison Control Centers

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

March is National Poison Prevention Month. Read about how NCEH and Poison Control Centers work together to protect health.

Detergent

In May 2012, the Carolinas Poison Control Center in Charlotte received calls concerning two critically ill children. A 20-month-old boy and a 15-month-old boy had bitten into laundry detergent pods, those liquid laundry soap-filled capsules that you drop into your washing machine

During the same month, the Poison Control Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia received a call concerning a 17-month-old boy who also had bitten into a laundry detergent pod.

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