How much do you know about Environmental Public Health?

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Can your environment make you sick? What about extreme heat or cold, polluted water, truck exhaust, pesticides, tobacco, or Salmonella? When you think about it, harmful substances anywhere in your environment might affect your health. So what exactly is your environment?

Your environment is everything around you — the air you breathe, the water you drink, the community you live in, the places where your food is grown or prepared, your workplace, and your home. When your environment is safe and healthy, you are more likely to stay healthy. But hazardous substances or dangerous events in your environment can cause harmful health effects. Environmental public health is about protecting populations—families, communities, cities, states, nations and tribes—from environmental threats to their health, safety, and well-being.

At NCEH and ATSDR, “environmental public health” is what we do, so we use the term all the time. But not everyone knows all the ways the environment can affect your health. How much do you know about environmental public health? Take the short quiz below to find out.



  1. In what year were lead-based paints banned for use in housing?
    A. 1968 B. 1978 C. 1984 D. 1990
  2. What is the best way to clean up mercury?
    A. Broom and dustpan B. Vacuum cleaner C. Dust mop D. None of the above E. All of the above
  3. Which of the following substances can cause cancer?
    A. Benzene B. Asbestos C. Cadmium D. None of the above E. All of the above
  4. Biomonitoring is
    A. Using biomarkers to measuring chemical exposure in people B. Measuring biomarkers of nutrition in people’s bodies C. Measuring chemicals in the environment D. A and B E. All of the above
  5. What’s the most commonly reported form of physical activity?
    A. Swimming B. Running C. Walking D. Biking E. Rock climbing
  6. T or F:
    Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, harmless gas.

Now let’s see how you did. Click here for answers.

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Page last reviewed: August 11, 2015
Page last updated: August 11, 2015