The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program
It has long been suspected that the environment plays an important role in human development and health. Researchers have studied, for example, the link between asbestos exposure and lung disease. Another link has been discovered between bladder cancer and a person’s exposure to disinfectant by-products. While much information is collected about environmental conditions and public health, prior to 2002 no system collected and compiled that data together.
That situation has now been corrected. In 2002, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. The goal of the program is to identify, control, and prevent environmentally-related diseases. The program provides information that can be used to initiate public health actions, to conduct planning and evaluation, and to support scientific studies.
The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program has five main goals:
The CDC has done more than set up an information collection program, however. It has given money to schools of public health, which provide support to the state and local health departments that investigate disease outbreaks, some of which may be environmentally related. The CDC has also funded projects in nine states and New York City, making a total investment of about $ 4.2 million, to support studies that are investigating the links between environmental exposure and diseases and other health conditions.
The CDC has also assembled four workgroups, with representatives from governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions, which have been asked to develop recommendations for improving the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program.
21 states and three cities have environmental-health study projects underway. Those projects include:
Copyright 2011 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
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