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Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology

EPH Data Inventory

The North Carolina Environmental Public Health Data Inventory provides a listing of available state government databases that may be used for linking environmental hazards to health outcomes.

Created by the Data Sharing Workgroup of the North Carolina Environmental Health Collaborative (NCEHC), the inventory fulfills a recommendation External link (PDF) from the 2010 Environmental Health Collaborative Summit, "America's Healthcare Policy through the Lens of Environmental Health." The workgroup consisted of members from state environmental and public health agencies and academic partners.

What's in the Inventory?

The Inventory is in three parts, covering three main topic areas: environmental factors, health and health effects, and public health laboratory test results. Each PDF presents a table listing various relevant state databases, the state agency that manages each database, a short description of the data, data format, access restrictions if any, contact information, and the availability of GIS. Those parts are:

  • Environmental Hazards & Exposures (PDF) – includes database listings for contaminated sites (soil/groundwater); waste management facilities (Superfund, solid waste, hazardous waste, underground storage tanks, USEPA); aquifer protection (wastewater disposal, wells); outdoor air quality; public drinking water quality; shellfish sanitation; and recreational water quality.
  • Health Effects (PDF) – includes hospital discharge data; emergency department visits; poison center data; surveillance for communicable diseases, cancer, conditions, nutrition and physical activity, risk factors; blood lead test results; pregnancy risks assessment monitoring; birth defects; and vital statistics (births, deaths, fetal deaths).
  • State Laboratory of Public Health (PDF) – includes databases of laboratory test results in the areas of clinical chemistry; environmental inorganic chemistry; environmental microbiology; environmental organic chemistry; and radiochemistry.

How to Use the Inventory

  • Each agency listed will have specific instructions about how to obtain data request approval. Contact the corresponding data custodian for each listed database for these instructions.
  • Health data may be aggregated to prevent identification of individuals.
  • Institutional and research procedures for securing and protecting health data should be in place prior to the request.
  • Data-sharing agreements may be required with the state agency serving as the custodian of the database. This is especially true for public health data.
  • Understand the limitations of both environmental and health databases and the type of studies that are suitable to use with these databases.
  • The inventory will be updated to insure the availability of each database and the accuracy of contact information.

For general questions regarding the inventory, contact the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch at (919) 707-5900.