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Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology

Environmental Public Health Tracking Program

The North Carolina Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program monitors and reports environmentally-related exposures and hazards that can affect human health throughout the state.

The goals of the program are to:

  • identify populations at risk from environmental exposures and hazards;
  • assist in the evaluation of disease trends;
  • develop prevention strategies for controlling environmental hazards, exposures, and their resulting diseases; and
  • assess existing public health policies and their effectiveness through surveillance and outreach.

A major initiative in developing the EPHT Program was compiling the environmental public health inventory. This resource provides a listing of available state agency databases that can be potentially used to promote data linkages of environmental hazards to health outcomes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network off-site link (Tracking Network) provides information for states about environmental exposures and hazards and their related health outcomes on a web portal. This portal enables users to interact with the data through maps, charts, and tables.

On the Tracking Network off-site link , information for states is integrated from a variety of national, state, and city data sources. For example, information about some chronic diseases (e.g., asthma prevalence among adults and children) and substances found in the environment can be viewed for North Carolina.

Healthy North Carolina 2020

Healthy North Carolina 2020 is the state’s plan to improve the health of residents across North Carolina. For the year 2020, 13 focus areas were identified. Each focus area includes three objectives, a rationale for the selection of each objective, and the Healthy North Carolina 2020 quantifiable target to aid in measuring success in achieving an objective. One of the selected focuses areas was environmental health.

The following environmental health objectives were developed and their indicator reports describe North Carolina’s current status versus the 2020 target to:

  1. increase the percentage of air monitor sites meeting the current ozone standard of 0.075 parts per million;
  2. increase the percentage of the population served by community water systems with no maximum contaminant level violations; and
  3. reduce the mortality rate from work-related injuries.

Health Effects

The EPHT Program integrates information about the occurrence of disease or conditions in a given population over time that may be attributed to exposure from an environmental hazard. In partnership with other state programs, the EPHT Program tracks the following health outcomes:

Adult Lead Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Cancer (PDF, 287KB)

Cold Weather-Related Illness Report, North Carolina 2014 (PDF, 174KB)

Heat-Related Illness

Environments

Certain activities in the environment have the potential for exposure to contaminants or hazardous conditions. These conditions may involve various pathways or sources (e.g., water, air) and agents (e.g., mercury, pesticides). The EPHT Program has developed the following additional measures to report on and track hazards in the environment:

Algal Blooms

Private Well Water Contaminants

Toxic Substance Incidents