- Environmental health
Environmental health is the branch of
public healththat is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environmentthat may affect human health. Other terms that refer to the discipline of environmental health include environmental public health and environmental health and protection.
Environmental health is defined by the
World Health Organisationas:
Those aspects of
human healthand diseasethat are determined by factors in the environment. It also refers to the theoryand practice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that can potentially affect health.
Environmental health as used by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, includes both the direct pathological effects of
chemicals, radiationand some biologicalagents, and the effects (often indirect) on health and wellbeing of the broad physical, psychological, socialand aestheticenvironment which includes housing, urban development, land useand transport. [cite web
last = Novick
first = Robert (editor)
title = Overview of the environment and health in Europe in the 1990s
World Health Organisation
date = 1999-03-29
url = http://www.euro.who.int/document/e66792.pdf
format = pdf
accessdate = ]
Environmental health services
Environmental health services are defined by the
World Health Organisationas:
those services which implement environmental health policies through monitoring and control activities. They also carry out that role by promoting the improvement of environmental parameters and by encouraging the use of environmentally friendly and healthy technologies and behaviours. They also have a leading role in developing and suggesting new policy areas.
Environmental health practitioners may be known as
sanitarians, public health inspectors, environmental health specialists or environmental health officers. Many states in the United Statesrequire that individuals have professional licenses in order to practice environmental health. Californiastate law defines the scope of practice of environmental health as follows:
"Scope of practice in environmental health" means the practice of environmental health by registered environmental health specialists in the public and private sector within the meaning of this article and includes, but is not limited to, organization, management, education, enforcement, consultation, and emergency response for the purpose of prevention of environmental health hazards and the promotion and protection of the public health and the environment in the following areas: food protection; housing; institutional environmental health; land use; community noise control; recreational swimming areas and waters; electromagnetic radiation control; solid, liquid, and hazardous materials management; underground storage tank control; onsite septic systems; vector control; drinking water quality; water sanitation; emergency preparedness; and milk and dairy sanitation. [California Health and Safety Code, section 106615(e)]
The environmental health
professionhad its modern-day roots in the sanitary and public healthmovement of the United Kingdom. This was epitomized by Sir Edwin Chadwick, who was instrumental in the repeal of the poor laws and was the founding president of the Association of Public Sanitary Inspectors in 1884, which today is the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
Environmental health concerns
Environmental health addresses all human-health-related aspects of both the
natural environmentand the built environment. Environmental health concerns include:
Air quality, including both ambient outdoor air and indoor air quality, which also comprises concerns about environmental tobacco smoke.
Body artsafety, including tattooing, body piercingand permanent cosmetics.
Climate changeand its effects on health.
Disaster preparednessand response.
Food safety, including in agriculture, transportation, food processing, wholesaleand retaildistribution and sale.
Hazardous materialsmanagement, including hazardous wastemanagement, contaminated site remediation, the prevention of leaks from underground storage tanks and the prevention of hazardous materials releases to the environment and responses to emergency situations resulting from such releases.
Housing, including substandard housingabatement and the inspection of jailsand prisons.
* Land use planning, including
* Liquid waste disposal, including city
wastewater treatmentplants and on-site waste water disposal systems, such as septic tanksystems and chemical toilets.
Medical wastemanagement and disposal.
Occupational healthand industrial hygiene.
* Radiological health, including exposure to
ionizing radiationfrom X-raysor radioactive isotopes.
* Recreational water illness prevention, including from
swimming pools, spas and oceanand freshwaterbathing places.
Solid waste management, including landfills, recyclingfacilities, compostingand solid waste transfer stations.
Toxicchemical exposure whether in consumer products, housing, workplaces, air, water or soil.
Vector control, including the control of mosquitoes, rodents, flies, cockroachesand other animals that may transmit pathogens.
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health(CIEH)
Environmental Health Clinic
Environmental Health Perspectives"
Globalization and Health
Nightingale's environmental theory
Sick Building Syndrome
*Andrew M. Pope and David P. Rall, Editors; Committee on Curriculum Development in Environmental Medicine, Institute of Medicine. (1995). [http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=4795 Environmental Medicine: Integrating a Missing Element into Medical Education.] National Academies Press.
* [http://www.ehoa.ie Environmental Health Officers Association - Ireland]
* [http://www.who.int/topics/environmental_health/en/ World Health Organization environmental health webpage]
* [http://www.ifeh.org/ International Federation of Environmental Health website]
* [http://health.europa.eu/my_environment/environmental_health/index_en.htm The Public Health Portal of the European Union] Information on EU activities in environmental health
* [http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ CDC National Center for Environmental Health (US) website]
* [http://www.neha.org/ National Environmental Health Association (US) website]
* [http://www.feha.org/ Florida Environmental Health Association (US) website]
* [http://www.rehis.org/ Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland website]
* [http://www.ciphi.ca/ Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors website]
* [http://www.nzieh.org.nz/ New Zealand Institute of Environmental Health website]
* [http://www.aphok.org/ Association of Public Health Officers Kenya website]
* [http://www.cehn.org/ Children's Environmental Health Network (US) website]
* [http://www.iceh.org/ Institute for Children's Environmental Health (US) website]
* [http://www.ccdeh.com/ California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health website]
* [http://www.ceha.org/ California Environmental Health Association website]
* [http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro.html NLM Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program]
* [http://toxseek.nlm.nih.gov NLM Metasearch Engine for Toxicology and Environmental Health]
* [http://www.maeho.net Malta Association of Environmental Health Officers]
* [http://www.medicalecology.org/ Medical Ecology]
* [http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/start/index.html German Research Center for Environmental Health]
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