Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Essentials of Environmental Public Health Tracking is a learning module designed to:
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
THE ENVIRONMENT IS…
The air we breathe,
The water we drink,
The food we eat, and
The places where we live, work, and play.
HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
There is a connection between the environment and the health of individuals and communities.
Likewise, people can affect the health of the environment.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH IS THE DISCIPLINE THAT…
WHAT ARE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH HAZARDS?
EXAMPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS INCLUDE:
The most common environmental health hazards are air and water pollution.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTICE
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS AIM TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AND THEIR ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS THROUGH:
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH EXAMPLE: ERIN BROCKOVICH
This is a real-life environmental health story about a woman who helped spearhead a case alleging contamination of drinking water with hexavalent chromium, which was suspected by residents of causing cancer in the southern California town of Hinkley.
Between 1952 and 1966, PG&E used hexavalent chromium in its cooling towers to fight corrosion. The wastewater dissolved the hexavalent chromium from the cooling towers and was discharged to unlined ponds at the site. Some of the wastewater percolated into the groundwater, affecting an area near the plant.
What she found out led to a record-breaking settlement for a group of class-action plaintiffs in 1996.
Though she was not an environmental health professional, Erin Brockovich did plenty of activities that are part of environmental health practice.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTICES INCLUDE:
ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL
To give you a sense of the practice of environmental public health from a national perspective, watch this video from CDC’s National Center for Environmental HealthExternal about the work they do.
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS & HEALTH EFFECTS
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS CAN AFFECT HUMAN HEALTH
Environmental hazards—like water and air pollution, extreme weather, or chemical exposures—can affect human health in a number of ways, from contributing to chronic diseases like cancer or to acute illnesses like heat exhaustion.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH IS COMPLEX.
WE KNOW SOME THINGS ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AND HEALTH EFFECTS.
Science has proven some links between health conditions and the environment. We know that:
MANY LINKS BETWEEN HEALTH CONDITIONS AND THE ENVIRONMENT ARE SUSPECTED BUT NOT YET PROVEN.
Health problems with suspected links to environmental issues include:
AND, THERE IS A LOT THAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AND HEALTH.
More research is needed to determine how exposure is cause for health concern and what levels of exposure are safe. For most chemicals, we do not know how low level environmental exposures affect our health.
After being exposed to an environmental hazard, it may be possible to detect how much of a substance has gotten into a person’s body. This is called biomonitoring.
Most biomonitoring involves measuring the amount of a chemical or its breakdown product (metabolite) that is in a small sample of a person’s blood or urine.
The amount of the chemical or metabolite in a person’s blood or urine depends on the amount of the chemical that has entered that person’s body. Exposure pathways include eating, drinking, breathing, and touching.
This amount represents the amount of a chemical that entered the body from all sources and through all exposure pathways combined.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT BEING EXPOSED TO AN ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD DOESN’T MEAN THAT A PERSON WILL HAVE A NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECT.
[Illustration shows a cloud labelled ‘environmental hazard’. The cloud has an arrow dropping below it labelled “Exposure to hazard”. The arrow points to a family. An arrow to the right of the family is overlaid with a question mark, and that arrow points to a box labeled “Illness, injury, death”.]
THE EFFECT OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD ON INDIVIDUAL HEALTH IS INFLUENCED BY SEVERAL FACTORS:
[Illustration of 4 concentric circles surrounding a central circle labelled “Health Effect”. The top circle “Dose: How much of the hazard a person is exposed to”. The circle on the right: “Duration: how long a person was exposed”. Bottom circle “Exposure Route: How a person came in contact with the hazard (e.g., breathing, eating, drinking, touching)”. Left circle “Personal Traits: Factors like age, diet, genetics, health status, lifestyle, and sex”.]
EXAMPLE: CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
Populations are at increased risk for carbon monoxide poisoning during extreme weather events that can cause power outages. Without power, people may use charcoal or gas grills indoors to cook or keep warm. Doing this may expose them to carbon monoxide (CO) through the air they breathe. While everyone in the home may be exposed to the gas, not everyone will get CO poisoning. The likelihood of poisoning depends on the amount of CO a person is exposed to, how long a person is exposed to CO, and an individual’s characteristics like age or having chronic health problems.
Learn more about CO poisoning, prevention, clinical management, and more.
[An illustration with a DANGER! label. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can’t be seen, can’t be smelled, can’t be heard, can be stopped!]
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AND HEALTH EFFECTS
The following diagram will help illustrate the point that being exposed to an environmental hazard does not mean that a person will become ill.
Likewise, being able to measure amounts of an environmental chemical in a person’s blood, saliva, urine, or other body fluids or tissues does not mean that a person will become sick.
[An illustration of a flow chart. On the left is a cloud labelled “Environmental Hazard” with an arrow below it labelled “Exposure to hazard” pointing to a family. To the right of the family is a diamond shaped decision symbol labelled “Measurable in the body?” Above that decision symbol is a circled “Yes” and below is a circled “No”. Both the Yes and No circles each point to three boxes labelled “Health Effect”, “Unknown Effect”, and “No Health Effect”.]
KNOWLEDGE CHECK 1
Read each question and click on the best answer from the choices provided.
1.Which of the following is true about environmental health?
a.There is a lot we do not understand about the connections between the environment and health.
b.Environmental health effects are chronic only.
c.The most common environmental hazards are air and noise pollution.
d.For most chemicals, we know that low level environmental exposures affect our health.
e.None of the above
[The correct answer is a.There is a lot we do not understand about the connections between the environment and health.]
2.Which of the following influence the effect an environmental hazard can have on an individual’s health?
a. Personal traits
c. Exposure route
e. All of the above
[The correct Answer is “e. All of the above.”]
THE HEALTH-ENVIRONMENT CONNECTION
UNDERSTANDING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN OUR ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH IS IMPORTANT.
The more we know about the health consequences of an environmental hazard, the better we can protect public health through policies, education, and interventions. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between air pollution and health.
EXAMPLE: AIR POLLUTION AND HEALTH
Outdoor air quality
Since the 1950s, air quality has been a major public health and environmental concern. Local, state, and national programs have helped us learn more about the problems and how to solve them.
National air quality has improved since the early 1990s, but many challenges remain in protecting public health and the environment from air quality problems.
Particle pollution, or particulate matter, consists of particles that are in the air, including dust, dirt, soot and smoke, and little drops of liquid.
Some particles, such as soot or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen. Other particles are so small that you cannot see them.
Particle pollution includes:
EXAMPLE: AIR POLLUTION AND HEALTH
How big is particulate matter?
[Illustration titled: “Fine Particulate Matter Size comparison”, with depictions of a human hair (about 70 micrometers wide), a grain of sand (about 50 micrometers wide), PM10 (less than 10 micrometers wide), and PM2.5 (less than 2.5 micrometers wide).
Sources of particulate matter
The composition of these particles can vary based on location, season, and whether they are from primary or secondary sources.
[Illustration with two stacked boxes labelled “Primary Sources” and “Secondary Sources”. Primary sources give off particulate matter directly. Examples include: forest fires, road dust, electrical power plants, industrial processes, cars & trucks. Secondary sources give off gases that react with sunlight and water in the air to form particles. Examples include coal-fired power plants, and car and truck exhaust.]
Particulate matter & health
Particles bigger than 10 micrometers can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat but do not usually reach your lungs.
Fine and ultrafine particles less than 2.5 micrometers (PM 2.5 or smaller) are the most concerning because they are most likely to cause health problems. Their small size allows them to get into the deep part of your lungs and even into your blood.
Particulate matter & health effects
Being exposed to any kind of particulate matter has been linked to:
People who are at the highest risk of being bothered by particulate matter include:
Improving air quality improves health.
Lowering particulate matter levels would prevent deaths, mostly from heart attacks and heart disease.
According to 2012 data, a 10% reduction in PM2.5 could prevent:
Case Study: MASSACHUSETTS
Asphalt production releases several dangerous pollutants into the air. These pollutants are known to cause some cancers. For people living nearby, the pollutants might also aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Protecting air quality in Massachusetts
The Town of Norwood’s Board of Health asked the Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking Program for help in deciding whether to allow construction of a new asphalt plant within the town limits.
Data from the state tracking network informed policymakers about the potential effects of asphalt production on public health. Ultimately, based in part on the data and recommendations provided by the state tracking program, construction was approved. Norwood’s Board of Health worked with the company to establish certain conditions for the site during development and operation that would help protect public health.
Watch this videoExternal to see how the Massachusetts Tracking Program worked with local health officials to protect air quality in Norwood with the arrival of a new asphalt plant. It’s important to have data that can inform regulations maintaining public and environmental health.
Knowledge Check 2
Read each statement and click whether it is TRUE or FALSE.
1. National air quality has improved since the early 1990s, but many challenges remain in protecting public health and the environment from air quality problems. True or False?
2. Fine and ultrafine particles are not concerning because they are too small to cause health problems. True or False?
[Answers: question 1 true, question 2 false.]
Monitoring Environmental Health
A KEY DISCIPLINE WITHIN PUBLIC HEALTH IS EPIDEMIOLOGY.
Epidemiology is defined by CDC as:
Watch this video to learn more about the basics of epidemiologyExternal from CDC’s Public Health 101 series
Epidemiologists in environmental health…
Read about examples of CDC’s environmental epidemiology activities, such as:
DATA ARE ESSENTIAL TO PUBLIC HEALTH.
As mentioned earlier, environmental causes of chronic diseases can be hard to identify. Measuring amounts of hazardous substances in our environment in a standard way, tracing the spread of these over time and area, seeing how they show up in human tissues, and understanding how they may cause illness is critical.
PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE IS…
The continuous, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice.
Watch this video to learn more about the basics of public health surveillanceExternal from CDC’s Public Health 101 series
ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE DATA
There are several types of data that are important and useful to environmental public health practice. Click on a data source to learn more!
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD DATA
The main types of hazard data that systems contain include the following:
Site specific: Samples, observations, inspection reports, or source/compliance tests conducted at a specific location.
Modeling: A mathematical method using known information to make simulations, estimates, or predictions about a system or condition. For example, modeled air data are used to estimate levels of ozone and particulate matter in the air. These data are applied to areas that don’t have air quality monitors and to fill in time gaps when monitors may not be recording data.
Environmental monitoring: Periodic or continuous surveillance or testing. Data are gathered from fixed points within the environment (e.g., air monitoring stations, routine groundwater sampling, or monitoring of wells) to determine pollutant levels.
Facility: Any facility that emits pollutants into the environment is required by law to keep detailed records of these emissions and to report them to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Extensive hazard data are generated from internal records of these facilities and from their publicly available reports.
Rich data exist on most health conditions—from chronic to acute illnesses to injuries and disabilities.
These data come from a variety of sources including the census, electronic medical records, national surveys, surveillance systems, and vital statistics.
Some data are collected by state agencies and some by federal agencies. It can be very difficult to compare data collected by different groups because the data may not be collected or analyzed the same way. There may also be privacy issues that prevent agencies from sharing data, especially health data.
Health Data Sources
Electronic medical records
Surveillance systems (state and national)
Biomonitoring is critical in measuring the impact of environmental exposure on individuals. Most biomonitoring involves measuring the amount of a chemical or its breakdown product (metabolite) that is in a small sample of a person’s blood or urine. Other biological substances that may be used in biomonitoring include hair, nails, semen, breast milk, saliva, or adipose tissue (fat).
Biomonitoring Data Sources
Population characteristics can help predict the possible end results of health problems and the risk for certain diseases or of public health emergencies and associated risks. They can also show how diseases can develop and change over time and from one place to another. The main source of population data is the U.S. Census Bureau.
Population data include:
ACCESSING QUALITY AND COMPLETE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DATA CAN BE DIFFICULT.
CDC’S ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH TRACKING PROGRAM…
Connects environmental and public health data and information to drive innovative programs that improve health, save lives, and enable efficient use of resources.
BETTER INFORMATION FOR BETTER HEALTH
At the local, state, and national levels, the Tracking Program uses a network of people and information systems to deliver a core set of health, exposure, and hazards data, information summaries, and tools to enable analysis, visualization, and reporting of insights drawn from data.
The Tracking Network is more than just data – it’s also a network of people and resources.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH TRACKING NETWORK
The Environmental Public Health Tracking Network is a product of CDC’s National Tracking Program. www.cdc.gov/ephtracking
ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE
Hazard, exposure, and health effect data are standardized and integrated into the National Tracking Network. In many states and at the national level environmental and health data are kept in separate systems, which makes it difficult to combine them for meaningful analysis.
Once these data are integrated into one system, (orange circle), they can be analyzed, interpreted, and disseminated to the many stakeholders who want access to this type of information. Stakeholders (purple circle) include a wide variety of audiences.
GOAL OF TRACKING
The overarching goal of the Tracking Network is to improve and protect public health by giving scientists, researchers, public health professionals, and policy makers access to data that were previously not available in standardized formats. This allows them to monitor trends over time and to see where resources are needed for further research or public health interventions.
Tracking Environmental Health Data for Public Health Decision Making
Watch this CDC Public Health Grand Rounds Presentation to learn how the Tracking Program is addressing the lack of environmental health data and how the program has informed public health decision making and action at the state and local levels.
KNOWLEDGE CHECK 3
1.The overarching goal of the Tracking Network is to improve and protect public health by making data that were previously not available accessible in standardized formats. True or False?
2.Environmental hazard data may be modeled, monitored, site-specific, or facility. True or False?
[Answers: both statements are true.]
Tracking Network Content
TRACKING NETWORK DATA SOURCES
Tracking Network data come from a variety of national, state, and city sources.
TRACKING GRANTEE DATA
Grantee health departments currently provide data on hospitalizations and emergency department visits, birth defects, and community drinking water. In addition, some Tracking FellowshipExternal recipients provide data on hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
CDC funds state and local health departments to build and implement local tracking networks. These state and local data systems feed into the national Tracking Network. https://ephtracking.cdc.gov/showStateTracking
NATIONAL DATA SOURCES
U.S. Government Agencies
TYPES OF CONTENT ON THE TRACKING NETWORK
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD DATA
Environmental hazard data play a vital role in tracking efforts. Understanding the distribution and concentrations of pollutants in the environment increases public health professionals’ ability to understand the role these hazards play in peoples’ health and to develop ways to help people stay healthier.
Environmental Hazard Data on the Tracking Network
CLIMATE CHANGE DATA
CDC’s Tracking Network uses data from many sources to track the effects of climate change. While there are a number of indicators related to climate change, the Tracking Network currently has data on extreme heat and flood vulnerability.
CDC scientists are working with other organizations, agencies, and partners in the United States and around the world to monitor climate change and its health effects.
It is important to note that linking climate change to a specific health problem is difficult. For example, a person having a heart attack may have other health conditions not related to heat exposure. However, the information CDC has used is a good starting point to track how climate change can affect health.
CDC’s Climate and Health Program looks for people in places who could be most affected by climate change. The program uses forecasts of future climate change trends and studies how diseases have spread in similar conditions in the past to find and respond to possible health threats now and in the future. Although scientific understanding of the effects of climate change is still emerging, there is a pressing need to prepare for potential health risks.
COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS DATA
Community characteristics can include information about an area’s natural features, such as how much land is covered by forests or water, and its human-made features like types of housing and locations public service buildings. The Tracking Network has data about some of these community characteristics.
Community characteristics data can be used with Tracking Network data on Populations and Vulnerabilities to plan effective public health responses to public health emergencies.
Understanding community characteristics, including resources and vulnerabilities, can help public health professionals:
COMMUNITY DESIGN DATA
Public health problems in the United States, such as motor vehicle-related injuries, obesity, physical inactivity, and breathing and heart problems related to air pollution, are all influenced by the design of our communities.
Designing communities that encourage healthy choices is critical to improving the health and quality of life of community members.
The Tracking Network has data on elements of community design including motor vehicle-related fatalities, types of transportation to work, and commute times, which can help inform community design decisions.
Understanding drought trends is important for public health professionals, water and sanitation officials, and policy makers for community planning purposes. Although many factors influence how drought will affect a community, drought trend data and other related indicators can be used to prepare for and prevent potential health risks. The Tracking Network has data on drought duration and severity in the United States.
OUTDOOR AIR QUALITY DATA
Tracking air pollution can help people understand how often they are exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution. Having these data can also help public health professionals or policymakers understand which areas may be most in need of prevention and control activities. The Tracking Network hosts several types of air quality data.
AIR QUALITY DATA: MONITORED AND MODELED
AIR QUALITY DATA: NATIONAL-SCALE AIR TOXICS ASSESSMENT DATA
Another type of air quality data is from the National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATAExternal). NATA is EPA’s ongoing comprehensive evaluation of air toxics in the United States. Data from this system are used to calculate the Tracking Network’s Air Toxics indicators for benzene and formaldehyde.
NATA was developed as a tool to inform both national and more localized efforts to collect air toxics information, characterize emissions, and help prioritize pollutants/geographic areas of interest for more refined data collection and analyses. The goal is to identify those air toxics which are of greatest potential concern in terms of contribution to population risk.
AIR QUALITY DATA: ATMOSPHERIC REMOTE SENSING MODELED PM2.5
A third type of air quality data comes from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA provides atmospheric sensing data from their satellites to CDC for this project.
Scientists from CDC, NASA, and Emory University are working together to determine how these data can be used with other air pollution monitoring data to measure fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in outdoor air.
AIR QUALITY DATA: MORTALITY BENEFITS OF REDUCING PM2.5 LEVELS
The next type of air quality data on the Tracking Network uses methods developed by the EPA and others to estimate how lowering air pollution levels can affect health. To calculate these estimates, CDC uses modeled air data for fine particulates, death data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and information about the relationship between change in air pollution and how that influences health effects from scientific literature.
These data summarize the estimated number of deaths prevented and percent change in deaths associated with lowering PM 2.5 concentration levels. They can be used to help:
PESTICIDE EXPOSURE DATA
Scientists do not yet have a clear understanding of the chronic health effects of pesticide exposures. However, pesticide exposure data on the Tracking Network can be used to estimate the extent of pesticide-related illnesses and identify trends and patterns of reported pesticide exposures over time and in different geographic regions.
The American Association of Poison Control CentersExternal (AAPCC) works with the nation’s poison centers throughout the United States to monitor poisonings and their sources.
The pesticide exposure data used on the Tracking Network come from the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
TOXIC SUBSTANCE RELEASES DATA
Despite efforts to prevent toxic substance incidents, accidental releases occur routinely wherever substances are stored, used, or transported. These incidents can be harmful for human health and the environment.
The toxic substance release data on the Tracking Network are from the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) National Toxic Substance Incident Program (NTSIP).
Tracking Network data can be used to:
WATER QUALITY DATA
Drinking water quality is an important public health issue because contamination in a single system can expose many people at once. Drinking water protection programs at the state and national levels play a critical role in ensuring high-quality drinking water and in protecting the public’s health.
The Tracking Network has data and information about the levels of several contaminants that can be found in drinking water. While they are not gathered specifically to assess the level of exposure or to track changes in water quality over time, they can be used to determine the potential for public health impacts from contaminant levels of concern.
HEALTH EFFECTS DATA
Health effect data also play a vital role in tracking efforts. Understanding the trends in health effects related to environmental hazard exposures increases public health professionals’ ability to prioritize resources and plan interventions and programs to protect public health.
Health Effects Data
The Tracking Network includes data on asthma hospitalizations and asthma prevalence, which is the number of people diagnosed with and living with asthma. These data are useful in providing estimates about the geographic distribution and effects of asthma among different populations. They can be used to plan and evaluate asthma interventions.
Hospitalization data come from Tracking grantees and asthma prevalence data come from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
BIRTH DEFECTS DATA
Birth defects data on the Tracking Network come from several grantee states. Not every state collects birth defects data. Among the states that do collect birth defects data, not all of their surveillance systems collect data in the same way; so you should not compare information from one state to another.
Comparisons that can be made within a state include:
Cancer surveillance systems are the most well-established and extensive disease surveillance networks in the United States. The Tracking Network is making cancer incidence data easier to use by integrating the information with other health outcome data and environmental data.
In addition, the Tracking Network can add to existing public health surveillance of cancer by examining potential ecological relationships with environmental exposures.
Cancer data on the Tracking Network come from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program and CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries.
CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING DATA
The Tracking Network uses several sources to get state and local data about carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. These sources include Tracking grantees’ hospital and emergency department databases and death certificate data collected by CDC’s National Vital Statistics System.
Tracking CO poisoning in a standard way over time can help us:
CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING DATA
The Tracking Network uses several sources to get state and local data about lead poisoning, including data collected by state and local childhood lead poisoning prevention programs. It provides information about blood lead testing and blood lead levels among children born in the same year, known as a birth cohort.
The Tracking Network also uses U.S. Census data to provide information about the number of homes built before 1950 and the poverty level in a specific area. Living in homes built before the 1950s and living in poverty have been identified as risk factors for elevated blood lead levels in children.
Having measures for blood lead levels and a measure for age of housing together on the Tracking Network can help assess testing within areas of high risk.
CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE (COPD) DATA
The Tracking Network uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, hospital and emergency department databases provided by state and/or local health departments, and death certificates from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics to calculate state and local data about COPD.
Tracking COPD in a standard way will help us:
DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES DATA
No nationwide system actively tracks all developmental disabilities. The Tracking Network is currently using two developmental disabilities data sources: CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, and the Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
ADDM Network: Monitors autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other developmental disabilities for several locations across the country in order to estimate the population prevalence of ASDs among 8-year-old children.
IDEA: Provides an estimate of children who are receiving public special education services in the United States. IDEA data are collected for regulatory purposes and implementation varies from state to state.
Although causes of specific developmental disabilities are often not known, these disabilities were chosen because some scientific evidence suggests environmental exposures may play a role in developing these conditions.
HEART DISEASE DATA
Currently, the United States does not have a single heart attack surveillance system, nor does a surveillance system exist for coronary heart disease in general. The Tracking Network hosts mortality data for heart attack and ischemic heart disease from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics as well as heart attack hospitalization data from Tracking grantees.
Tracking heart disease will help with:
HEAT STRESS ILLNESS DATA
CDC tracks the effects of extreme heat by collecting and reviewing the number of health conditions reported from local hospitals and the number of deaths reported from state health departments. Reviewing these national data helps public health professionals:
This MMWR summarizes heat stress illness hospitalizations data from the Tracking Network. Heat Stress Illness Hospitalizations – Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, 20 States, 2001-2010, MMWR. December 12, 2014 / 63(SS13);1-10.
REPRODUCTIVE AND BIRTH OUTCOMES DATA
In order to understand better the role that environmental exposures play in reproductive and infant health problems, the Tracking Network collects and displays data on:
Vital statistics data collected by CDC are used to estimate these measures.
POPULATION HEALTH DATA
Population health data can provide context about relationships between exposures and health effects.
Information about age, sex, race, and behavior or lifestyle may help us understand why a person has a particular health problem.
Data sources for population characteristics data on the Tracking Network include CDC’s National Vital Statistics System and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Types of Population Health Data on the Tracking Network:
Biomonitoring data come from CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Biomonitoring data can be used to:
The environmental chemicals included on the Tracking Network were selected for one or more of the following reasons:
LIFESTYLE RISK FACTORS DATA
When examining chronic diseases and their potential connection to the environment, it is important to consider other health risk factors that could play a role in their development.
These data can be used by public health professionals to:
The lifestyle risk factor data available on the Tracking Network are collected as part of CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
POPULATIONS AND VULNERABILITIES DATA
Certain factors, like sex, age, or income can influence health, the risk for certain diseases, and the risk for being seriously affected by public health emergencies. The same is true for populations.
Knowing a population’s characteristics, including their vulnerabilities and resources, can help public health professionals determine possible effects of health problems or environmental conditions on disease trends and patterns over time and across locations.
These data can show which areas or population groups are likely to be:
KNOWLEDGE CHECK 4
1.The Tracking Network has data on all of the following environmental hazards EXCEPT:
c.Indoor air pollution
d.Outdoor air pollution
[Answer: C – indoor air pollution]
2.The Tracking Network has data on the following health effects:
a. Adult lead poisoning, asthma, birth defects, heat stress illness
b. Cancer, COPD, chronic kidney disease, heart disease
c. Asthma, developmental disabilities, heart disease, heat stress illness
d. Birth defects, birth outcomes, cancer, foodborne illness
[Answer: C – Asthma, developmental disabilities, heart disease, heat stress illness]
3. Population health data on the Tracking Network include: a. Biomonitoring b. Demographics c. Lifestyle risk factors d. Socioeconomics
e. All of the above