The work of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) focuses on the unique relationship between humans and the environment, and ways in which the environment impacts health. The shared mission of NCEH/ATSDR is to serve the public through responsive public health actions to promote healthy and safe environments and prevent harmful exposures. Issues range from identifying and addressing health risks related to hazardous substances, to developing an understanding of how the design of our communities impacts health. The Public Health Law Program (PHLP) is currently working with NCEH to examine laws related to carbon monoxide (CO) monitors in homes, and the relation of these laws to health outcomes, such as whether requiring CO monitors in homes correlates with a decreased number of fatalities or a reduction of length of hospital stays due to CO poisoning. PHLP has also worked with NCEH to examine legal strategies related to reducing exposure to lead, increasing access to safe drinking water, addressing climate change, and using zoning regulations to improve positive health outcomes.
State LawsASSEMBLY BILL No.437
This California bill will authorize the county health officers to provide assistance to cities and counties with regard to public health issues relating to local land use and transportation planning processes.
This Florida bill will revise the intent of the Legislature regarding the mission of the state's public health system, the Department of Health's duty to monitor and regulate factors in the environment which affect the public health, and the functions of the public health system with regard to local planning and development activities.
Maryland Healthy Places Act
A Maryland act requiring the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene to establish an Interagency Working Group to discuss certain environmental health concerns.
Articles and Reports
Doug Farquhar The Healthy Homes Initiative: The Role of Law , December 8, 2006.
A presentation by Doug Farquhar, JD, National Conference of State Legislatures Denver, Colorado.
M. Deborah Millette, MPH, Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Homes December 8, 2006.
A presentation by M. Deborah Millette, MPH, Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Priscilla Keith, JD and Dana Reed Wise, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion county Indianapolis, Indiana, Using Law for Healthy Homes, December 8, 2006.
A presentation by Priscilla Keith, JD and Dana Reed Wise, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion county Indianapolis, Indiana.
The "Swimming with Sharks: Environmental Health in the Context of Litigation" DVD, produced by the Southern Center for Excellence in Environmental Health is a concise, 30-minute review of issues that front-line public health practitioners encounter in responding to litigation and in using litigation as tool to advance the health of the public health.
The learning objectives of this course are to understand:
- how to carry out your important functions when litigation is occurring around you,
- what you need to know if you are the target of litigation, and
- how litigation can be a tool for you to use in enforcing regulations.
"Swimming with Sharks" features Dr. Howard Frumkin, formerly Director of the Southern Center of Excellence in Environmental Health Practice at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, and currently Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and B. Suzi Ruhl, JD, with the Environmental Law Institute, along with public health professionals and attorneys working in, and advising, Georgia public health agencies.
"Swimming with Sharks" was produced by the Southern Center for front-line public health professionals, managers and legal counsel in local and state public health agencies, and schools of public health. This resource is in the public domain. Choose from the links below to download "Swimming with Sharks".