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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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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

Get the Lead Out: National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2014

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

lead free kids

Joseph and Gwen Porter are so excited. For several years they have been looking for an older home they can afford. They’ve found a charming 1930s bungalow in a beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood with plenty of room for their three children. But when they read the seller’s disclosure required by law, they are surprised to learn that the home contains lead paint.

The Porters know that lead exposure is dangerous for children, but they also know that lead paint was banned years ago. They discover, however, that many older homes still contain lead paint that can contaminate house dust. The Porters also learn that lead exposure continues to be a public health concern.

Fourth Anniversary of the National ALS Registry

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

It’s been an incredible year for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) awareness! Not since Lou Gehrig made his famous “Luckiest Man on Earth” speech in 1939 has so much public attention been focused on ALS. Learn how the National ALS Registry is helping scientists learn more about this mysterious disease.

ALS-Web-Button

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

During the summer of 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge swept the U.S. and beyond, bringing attention to the disease and raising money for research. Maybe you were one of thousands, including people with the disease, celebrities, politicians, and even Homer Simpson and Kermit the Frog, who dumped an icy cold bucket of water on your head for a good cause.

Voices from the Field Featuring Brian Hubbard

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

Brian Hubbard. Photo courtesy of Brian Hubbard.

Brian Hubbard. Photo courtesy of Brian Hubbard.

My name is Brian Hubbard, and I am a health scientist in CDC’s Environmental Health Services Branch. Read on to learn how I worked directly with the Haitian government to improve water sanitation efforts.

Global access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education can reduce illness and death from disease, leading to improved health, poverty reduction, and better social and economic development. But many countries face challenges providing these basic necessities to their residents. In turn, this leaves people at risk for diseases related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). CDC water activities (e.g., community water systems) and programs (e.g., Safe Water System) can empower communities to better understand how to prevent and treat the contamination that affects their drinking water.

Tracking Developmental Disabilities and the Environment

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

Developmental Disabilities

October 6 is Child Health Day. NCEH’s Environmental Health Tracking Branch provides valuable data on children’s health by tracking developmental disabilities and other children’s environmental health issues.

Developmental Disabilities

Did you know that environmental factors can affect and contribute to developmental disabilities? The most commonly known causes of developmental disabilities are genetic and social, but increasing evidence suggests environmental contaminants may also play a part in causing some developmental disabilities.

NTSIP Released Its First Annual Report

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

NTSIP first report

Did you know that each day, nearly the entire U.S. population is at risk for exposure from toxic substance spills? Thousands of chemicals surround us at home, work, school, or play. Chemicals have made possible advances in medicine, energy production, and digital technology. However, very little information exists about many of these chemicals and the potential threat they pose to the public when they are spilled. We need to understand more about the potential health effects of the chemicals we use every day. Enter CDC/ATSDR’s National Toxic Substances Incidents Program (NTSIP).

In 2010, ATSDR introduced NTSIP as a new program to replace its Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES). HSEES is a national system to track hazardous substance spills. NTSIP collects and combines information from many resources professionals use to develop recommendations to protect people from harm caused by spills and leaks of toxic substances.

Investigating the Cause of a Foodborne Illness Outbreak

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

Step into a world of virtual reality through NCEH’s e-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks course.

Step into a world of virtual reality through NCEH’s e-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks course.

It’s a scene that routinely plays out in the restaurant industry: restaurant manager meets health inspector; health inspector examines the restaurant’s conditions and food-handling practices; health inspector gives restaurant manager’s facility a passing or failing grade and if the restaurant fails the inspection, then the inspector provides instructions and information on improvements.

The outcome of the inspection can make the difference between preparing for the lunch rush and having to close temporarily.

This routine and systematic approach to ensuring and monitoring proper food preparation and handling is as common as a combo meal or a two-for-one special.

You’re as Young as You Feel

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

1950s-TV

Do you remember your first black and white television? Did you ever wonder how crawling under your desk could protect you from an atomic bomb? Did you watch the Beatles when they made their first American appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you are very likely a “baby boomer,” born after World War II from 1946 through 1964.By 1965, baby boomers made up over 40% of the U.S. population.

World Trade Center Health Registry

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

When buildings collapsed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in New York, our nation and the world at large were devastated. Nearly 2,800 people died, including 343 firefighters, 23 police officers, 37 Port Authority police officers, and more than 2,200 civilians.

Along with the death and devastation immediately wrought by the attacks, there was concern from the outset that the collapse of the Twin Towers could have consequences for the health of

  • responders,
  • clean-up workers,
  • residents,
  • office workers,
  • school children, and
  • others in the area.

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