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Environmental Health: Overview

CSTE’s environmental health activities support the epidemiology and surveillance of non-infectious health effects related to environmental exposures, hazards, and conditions. CSTE is home to many subcommittees and workgroups in which environmental epidemiologists share information, discuss best practices, and work through ongoing challenges in the field.

Current CSTE Environmental Health Subcommittees & Workgroups

CSTE Environmental Health Epidemiology Assessments

2017 Epidemiology Capacity Assessment includes findings specific to environmental health epidemiologic capacity, including:

  • Approximately 65% of the states had a lead epidemiologist in environmental health. No significant relationship was found between state population size (<2 million, 2-6 million, and >6million) and a presence of a lead epidemiologist, except for environmental health programs, for which 33% of small states had a lead epidemiologist, compared with 71% for medium states and 82% for large states (p=0.02).
  • Between 2013 and 2017, the percentage of state jurisdictions with a lead environmental health epidemiologist had a small but non-significant decrease (69% to 65%).
  • State Epidemiologists indicated a need for an additional 1,199 epidemiologists across all program areas to achieve full capacity, specifically 122 in environmental health.
  • Capacity is high in well-established program areas including infectious diseases, MCH, and chronic disease but low in areas with waning numbers of epidemiologists such as environmental health.
  • State respondents indicated an 88% perceived need for improved epidemiologic capacity in environmental health.

2016 CSTE Member Assessment of Emerging Issues for Private Well Water and Drinking Water identifies priority non-infectious issues impacting drinking water, state and local technical assistance needs, and how CDC can best provide technical assistance and support in addressing these state priorities.

2015 Assessment of State Activities in Non-Infectious Environmental Health Exposure Monitoring and Investigation describes the scope of state environmental health applied epidemiology activities in non-infectious conditions. The report assesses environment-related health conditions, environmental exposure events, syndromic surveillance as a tool for environmental monitoring and response, the effect of radiation control agency location on radiation exposure event reporting and activities, and the resources and barriers to monitoring and response.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in any of CSTE’s environmental health activities, please contact Alesha Thompson – we welcome your involvement!


Recent Forum Activity
CO Poisoning surveillance data MMWR Surveillance Summaries
Posted by: Steven Macdonald, Friday, December 20, 2013
Forum: Environmental
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