How clean is Vermont’s air? What health problems could be linked to the water we drink? What relationships may exist between environmental exposures and cancer?
Vermont’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program aims to assist policymakers, health professionals, scientists, researchers and others to answer these questions and more. According to the Vermont Public Health Tracking web site, environmental public health tracking brings environmental and public health data together in one place in order to understand how environmental factors play a role in certain illnesses. As the VT Department of Health notes,
For decades, the United States has faced a fundamental gap in understanding how environmental contaminants affect people’s health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to close this gap by improving surveillance through the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network). The Tracking Network is a dynamic Web-based tool that, for the first time, provides health and environment data in one easy to find location.
Policy makers and public health officials can use the Tracking Network to make critical decisions about where to target environmental public health resources and interventions. Health practitioners and researchers can use the Tracking Network to learn more about health conditions related to the environment, and improve treatment plans. Anyone can use the Tracking Network to find out how the environment may be affecting them, their family’s or community’s health.
The building blocks of the national network are state and local health departments around the country that are funded to build local tracking systems. These systems supply data to the National Tracking Network and address local environmental public health concerns. The tracking programs use their networks every day to improve the health of their communities.
Vermont’s Tracking Program also links you to comparable information from other states and to national data.
Anyone can use the site to search for data about environmental and health topics such as air quality, cancer, lead, drinking water and birth defects. The site also connects users to additional resources on the health and environmental topics. For more information, be sure to visit the site at healthvermont.gov/tracking.