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Environmental Health Capacity (EHC) Program

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The Environmental Health Capacity (EHC) Program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and seeks to detect, prevent, and control environmental health hazards through data-driven and evidence-based approaches.

EHC partners with state agencies, universities, non-profit partners, and community-based advocates and stakeholders, including environmental justice groups. Based on interest among stakeholders throughout the state, the EHC program is currently focused on the following activities:

Environmental Health Indicators (EHI) Map: This map displays environmental health indicators and relevant risk factors, particularly for vulnerable populations. The map compiles information from DOH, DEP and several federal agencies to provide context about overlapping environmental hazards and social and health vulnerabilities.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs): Identification and surveillance of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and associated illnesses to determine their occurrence patterns, protect water and food supplies, and prevent adverse impacts on human health.

Families with Young Children: This activity aims to analyze, identify, and describe sociodemographic and geographic conditions that put families and children at risk of environmental health hazards in PA. Environmental health data gathering, especially from parents, childcare providers, health care professionals, and knowledge-building efforts, will be conducted to develop outreach materials to address the environmental health vulnerabilities of families with young children.

The EHC Program developed a nano training on the Air Quality Index (AQI) specifically designed for childcare providers, teachers, and other school staff. The main objective of this concise training is to educate and inform these professionals on how to take necessary precautions to keep children safe from potential outdoor air pollution hazards. The training offers valuable insights on the AQI, including what the different color categories of the index mean, and suggests ways to incorporate the AQI in the classroom. By empowering educators and staff with this knowledge, we can help reduce the negative impact of air pollution on children's health and well-being.

Private Well WaterThe goal of this EHC activity is to ensure safe, private well drinking water by addressing the causes and consequences of contaminated ground and surface water and the associated health risks from using contaminated private well water, assessing knowledge of private well water care or maintenance, encouraging, and funding testing and mitigation.

Radon: This EHC activity seeks to increase awareness of radon and mitigate its impact on individuals' health.

Annual EHC Reports

* Upcoming

EHC Advisory Board Members

  • Office of Environmental Justice, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Office of Operational Excellence, Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Bureau of Community Health Systems, Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Bureau of Informatics and Information Technology, Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Women for a Healthy Environment