Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

CDC Web Site for Public Health Tracking

The US Centers for Disease Control(CDC) has recently launched the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. This network is part of an organizational shift by the CDC from infectious disease to environmental health.

It aims to correlate how the environment might affect a person’s health and how people might affect the health of the environment. It also allows users to find local environmental health data.

Currently information is arranged under three topics at the home page:

  • Environments (Homes, Outdoor Air, and Water)
  • (7)Health Effects including asthma, lead poisoning, heart attacks, cancer, and reproductive/birth outcomes
  • Info by Location where data are displayed by state, county, and zip code.

Check out the About page for more information.

Steve Luce of the CDC spoke about this product at this year’s CAPHIS **business meeting.
His presentation included the following points:

  • The public is certainly welcome to view the data at the Web site. However, the CDC does not recommend that the public take actions based on the data. The data is being made available primarily for local entities to build programs based on that  data.
  • Privacy laws prevented access to some data at “very” local levels.  That data would be available only to professionals with a need to know. Small geographic levels with small populations increase the probability that individuals could be identified.
  • There are presently overlaps with Toxtown. However efforts are being made to reduce duplication.

**Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association

August 2, 2010 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | ,

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