Environmental Health

Safe management of wastes from health-care activities 2nd ed – WHO – 2014

Posted on June 4, 2014. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: , |

Safe management of wastes from health-care activities 2nd ed – WHO – 2014

ISBN 978 92 4 154856 4

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Environmental Sustainability in Hospitals: The Value of Efficiency – AHA American Hospitals Association – 29 May 2014

Posted on May 30, 2014. Filed under: Environmental Health |

Environmental Sustainability in Hospitals: The Value of Efficiency – AHA American Hospitals Association – 29 May 2014

“This guide was produced in collaboration with ASHE and aims to help hospital and care system leaders navigate the world of sustainability and build upon their organizations’ existing efforts. Hospitals are at different points on the journey toward sustainability. Some organizations are leading the charge and developing best practices, while others are addressing the issue for the first time. Leaders should consider options and determine what is right for their organizations.”

News release

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Air quality deteriorating in many of the world’s cities – WHO – 7 May 2014

Posted on May 8, 2014. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: , |

Air quality deteriorating in many of the world’s cities – WHO – 7 May 2014

“Air quality in most cities worldwide that monitor outdoor (ambient) air pollution fails to meet WHO guidelines for safe levels, putting people at additional risk of respiratory disease and other health problems.

WHO’s urban air quality database covers 1600 cities across 91 countries – 500 more cities than the previous database (2011), revealing that more cities worldwide are monitoring outdoor air quality, reflecting growing recognition of air pollution’s health risks.

Only 12% of the people living in cities reporting on air quality reside in cities where this complies with WHO air quality guideline levels. About half of the urban population being monitored is exposed to air pollution that is at least 2.5 times higher than the levels WHO recommends – putting those people at additional risk of serious, long-term health problems.

In most cities where there is enough data to compare the situation today with previous years, air pollution is getting worse. Many factors contribute to this increase, including reliance on fossil fuels such as coal fired power plants, dependence on private transport motor vehicles, inefficient use of energy in buildings, and the use of biomass for cooking and heating.

But some cities are making notable improvements – demonstrating that air quality can be improved by implementing policy measures such as banning the use of coal for “space heating” in buildings, using renewable or “clean” fuels for electricity production, and improving efficiency of motor vehicle engines.”

… continues on the site

Ambient (outdoor) air pollution in cities database 2014 – WHO

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Response to Major Fires: Guideline for Public Health Units – Revised edition 2014 – NZ Ministry of Health – 28 January 2014

Posted on February 18, 2014. Filed under: Environmental Health, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion |

Response to Major Fires: Guideline for Public Health Units – Revised edition 2014 – NZ Ministry of Health – 28 January 2014

“Summary

When major fires occur, public health units are involved if the public health may be put at risk.

The purpose of these guidelines is to assist the public health response to major fires. The focus is on industrial fires, but some of the content is also relevant to large scrub or forest fires, such as the 2010 Mt Allan forest fire in Dunedin.

These guidelines:

provide an overview of the types of contaminant that can be released during fires and the information that needs to be collected to inform decisions on sampling and analysis
include advice on evacuation versus sheltering in relation to fire incidents, health monitoring and communication.

They do not replace hazardous substance incident protocols that have been developed by a public health unit for use in its own region.”

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Sustainable, resilient, healthy people & places: a sustainable development strategy fo the NHS, Public Health and Social Care system – NHS England, Sustainable Development Unit – January 2014

Posted on January 30, 2014. Filed under: Environmental Health, Health Mgmt Policy Planning | Tags: , , |

Sustainable, resilient, healthy people & places: a sustainable development strategy fo the NHS, Public Health and Social Care system – NHS England, Sustainable Development Unit – January 2014

“The approach described in this strategy is the result of intensive engagement across the health and care system. It describes the most important principles and opportunities that can be taken to enable a more sustainable health and care system over the next five years. These align with the current policy direction for integrated care closer to home and we know this is what the public expects of us.”

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Environmental health and economics: use of economic tools and methods in environmental health – WHO – 23 October 2013

Posted on October 24, 2013. Filed under: Environmental Health, Health Economics | Tags: |

Environmental health and economics: use of economic tools and methods in environmental health – WHO – 23 October 2013

Media release: Visualizing the economic and health benefits of environmental measures: a winning combination

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Health Impact Assessment of Shale Gas Extraction: Workshop Summary – Institute of Medicine – 2013

Posted on September 2, 2013. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: , |

Health Impact Assessment of Shale Gas Extraction: Workshop Summary – Institute of Medicine – 2013

ISBN 978-0-309-28791-3

“Description

Natural gas extraction from shale formations, which includes hydraulic fracturing, is increasingly in the news as the use of extraction technologies has expanded, rural communities have been transformed seemingly overnight, public awareness has increased, and regulations have been developed. The governmental public health system, which retains primary responsibility for health, was not an early participant in discussions about shale gas extraction; thus public health is lacking critical information about environmental health impacts of these technologies and is limited in its ability to address concerns raised by regulators at the federal and state levels, communities, and workers employed in the shale gas extraction industry.

Health Impact Assessment of Shale Gas Extraction is the summary of a workshop convened in 2012 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine to discuss the human health impact of shale gas extraction through the lens of a health impact assessment. Eminent scientists, physicians, public health experts, and representatives from government agencies at federal and state levels, from nongovernment organizations, from the business sector, and from interest groups representing the interests of the citizens met to exchange ideas and to inform on hydraulic fracturing as a means of extraction of natural gas. This report examines the state of the science regarding shale gas extraction, the direct and indirect environmental health impacts of shale gas extraction, and the use of health impact assessment as a tool that can help decision makers identify the public health consequences of shale gas extraction.”

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Electric and Magnetic Fields and Your Health – NZ Ministry of Health – 14 March 2013

Posted on March 14, 2013. Filed under: Environmental Health |

Electric and Magnetic Fields and Your Health – NZ Ministry of Health – 14 March 2013

“Summary

Electric and magnetic fields are produced by any wiring or equipment carrying electric current. This includes overhead and underground power lines carrying electricity, wiring in buildings, and electrical appliances. The strengths of the fields decrease rapidly with increasing distance from the source.

Electric and magnetic fields are fundamentally different from true electromagnetic radiation such as radio waves and microwaves. This booklet relates only to electric and magnetic fields around power lines, electrical wiring and appliances.

Do they present health risks?”

… continues on the site

978-0-478-40203-2 (print); 978-0-478-40204-9 (online)

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A follow-up study of hygiene practices in catering premises at large scale events in the United Kingdom – Health Protection Agency – 13 March 2013

Posted on March 14, 2013. Filed under: Environmental Health, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

A follow-up study of hygiene practices in catering premises at large scale events in the United Kingdom – Health Protection Agency – 13 March 2013

“Research from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed that food, water, chopping boards, cleaning cloths and security wristbands sampled from mobile and outdoor food vendors were contaminated with a range of bacteria including E.coli. This bacteria, which originates from human or animal faeces indicates either poor hygiene, undercooking or cross-contamination in the kitchen.”

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Cold Calculus for a Hot Planet – Climate Vulnerability Monitor report – September 2012

Posted on October 2, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health |

Cold Calculus for a Hot Planet  – Climate Vulnerability Monitor report – September 2012

Blog discussion on this

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Australian healthcare services and the climate change debate – Health Policy Research Institute Policy Brief – July 2012

Posted on July 31, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: |

Australian healthcare services and the climate change debate – Health Policy Research Institute Policy Brief – July 2012

CONTENTS:
1. Policy issue
2. Background and context
a. Carbon pricing and the carbon debate in Australia
b. Impact of carbon pricing on hospitals and healthcare providers
c. Health impacts of climate change
3. Policy options, directions or initiatives
a. Reducing the health sector’s carbon footprint
b. Health sector preparedness for climate change
4. Conclusions
Appendix 1: Energy costs as a proportion of total recurrent costs in a small sample of metropolitan hospitals

Media release

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Healthy Transport = Healthy Lives – BMA – 12 July 2012

Posted on July 19, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: , , |

Healthy Transport = Healthy Lives – BMA – 12 July 2012

“A major BMA report urges doctors to play a key role in reducing car use.

Healthy Transport = Healthy Lives calls on the government to take a long-term view of transport policy to create the conditions that reduce demand for car use, while enabling a shift to more active and sustainable forms of transport.

BMA board of science chair Averil Mansfield said: ‘To date, the approach to transport policy in the UK has in part been based on short-term objectives, even though the decisions taken can potentially last decades.

‘Economic considerations have been prioritised over health. This is despite a substantial evidence base demonstrating that making health a key objective in transport policy is cost-effective, and will have short, medium and long-term benefits.’

The BMA board of science report warns such a change requires strong government commitment and leadership as the benefits to health will not necessarily be instant.

The report says: ‘Health improvement should always be recognised as a pivotal component in transport strategies and programmes.’”

… continues

ISBN-10: 1-905545-63-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-905545-63-6

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Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 12 – National Academies Press – 2012

Posted on May 4, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health |

Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Selected Airborne Chemicals: Volume 12 – National Academies Press – 2012

Authors:  Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels; Committee on Toxicology; Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

ISBN-10: 0-309-25501-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-25501-1

“Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, fires, or accidents involving railroad cars and trucks transporting EHSs. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial facilities where EHSs are manufactured, used, or accidents involving railroad cars and trucks transporting EHSs. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial facilities where EHSs are manufactured, used, or stored and in communities along the nation’s railways and highways are potentially at risk of being exposed to airborne EHSs during accidental releases or intentional releases by terrorists.”

… continues

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Technical guidance issued for healthcare providers on managing Pseudomonas – [UK] – 30 March, 2012

Posted on April 2, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health, Infection Control, Infectious Diseases |

Technical guidance issued for healthcare providers on managing Pseudomonas – [UK] – 30 March, 2012

“Further to guidance issued in February by the Chief Medical Officer  additional best practice technical guidance is being published today.

The guidance is aimed at those healthcare organisations providing patient care in augmented care units, such as paediatric and adult critical care, neonatal and burns units and provides advice for health care providers on:

assessing the risk to patients if water systems become contaminated with P. aeruginosa or other opportunistic pathogens;

what actions to take if water systems become contaminated with P. aeruginosa;

protocols for sampling, testing and monitoring water for P. aeruginosa: and

developing local water safety plans.

The guidance encourages healthcare organisations to develop a local plan for risk assessing augmented care units by June 2012 with appropriate water sampling by the end of 2012.

Read the guidance: Water sources and potential Pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination of taps and water systems – Advice for augmented care unit

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Sustainable health and social care. Connecting environmental and financial performance – King’s Fund – 21 March 2012

Posted on March 23, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health, Health Economics | Tags: |

Sustainable health and social care. Connecting environmental and financial performance – King’s Fund – 21 March 2012

Chris Naylor, John Appleby

“Summary

The activities of an organisation as large as the NHS inevitably have consequences for the environment. Carbon dioxide emissions attributable to the NHS in England alone are greater than the total admissions from all passenger aircraft departing from Heathrow Airport. As financial challenges for the health and social care sector increase, so too does the need for services to be delivered in ways that are environmentally sustainable.

Sustainable Health and Social Care: Connecting environmental and financial performance is based on a literature review and stakeholder consultation carried out by The King’s Fund on behalf of the National Institute for Health Research and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. The report provides an overview of current knowledge about the environmental impacts of health and social care and examines the evidence for a connection between sustainability, productivity and other system objectives.

The authors consider how health and social care needs to change to become more environmentally sustainable.”

… continues on the site

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Environmental health inequalities in Europe. Assessment report – WHO – 2012

Posted on February 17, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: , , |

Environmental health inequalities in Europe. Assessment report – WHO – 2012

xiv + 192 pages   ISBN 978 92 890 0260 8

“The unequal distribution of people’s exposure to – and potentially of disease resulting from – environmental conditions is strongly related to a range of sociodemographic determinants. Interventions to tackle such environmental health inequalities need to be based on an assessment of their magnitude and on the identification of population groups that are most exposed or most vulnerable to environmental risks. But data are scarce.

To address this gap, and follow up on the commitments made at the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in Parma, Italy in 2010, the WHO Regional Office for Europe has carried out a baseline assessment of the magnitude of environmental health inequality in the European Region based on a core set of 14 inequality indicators.

The main findings indicate that socioeconomic and demographic inequalities in risk exposure are present in all countries, though they vary from country to country. The report reviews inequalities related to housing, injuries, and the environment, identifies gaps in evidence that still need to be filled, and suggests priority action to be taken at both the subregional and the national level, bearing in mind those national variations.”

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Sustainable Development in the National Health Service (NHS). The views and values of NHS leaders – RAND – 2012

Posted on February 3, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: , |

Sustainable Development in the National Health Service (NHS). The views and values of NHS leaders – RAND – 2012

by Tom Ling, Janice S. Pedersen, Samuel Drabble, Claire Celia, Laura Brereton, Christine Tiefensee

“This report presents National Health Service (NHS) leaders’ views of priorities and approaches regarding sustainable development in the NHS. It was produced in close collaboration with the United Kingdom (UK) NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU), and it represents the first systematic picture of leadership views in the NHS. It also provides a commentary on ways forward. Analysis draws on results of a survey of 172 leaders of NHS organisations (primarily chief executives), 12 follow-up interviews, interviews with the SDU, and additional data and literature searches. A major conclusion is that almost all leaders consider sustainable development to be important for the NHS and that a focus on sustainability can most likely be aligned with delivering other corporate goals. Aligned incentives at all organisational levels and support for diversity are considered necessary to achieve sustainability, as well as relevant performance metrics. The main barrier is organisational culture.”

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Response to Major Fires: Guideline for Public Health Units – NZ Ministry of Health – July 2011

Posted on July 7, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Health |

Response to Major Fires: Guideline for Public Health Units – NZ Ministry of Health – July 2011

“Summary of publication

The purpose of these guidelines is to assist the public health response to major fires to minimise their public health risk. In cases of major fires, public health units are involved if the public health may be put at risk. The focus is on industrial fires, but some of the content is also relevant to large scrub or forest fires, such as the 2010 Mt Allan forest fire in Dunedin.

These guidelines provide an overview of the types of contaminants that can be released during fires and the information that needs to be collected to inform decisions on sampling and analysis. They also include advice on evacuation versus sheltering in relaiton to fire incidents, health monitoring and communication. They do not replace hazardous substance incident protocols that have been developed by a public health unit for use in its own region.”

ISBN number: 978-0-478-37489-6 (Online)

HP number: 5363

Citation: Ministry of Health. 2011. Response to Major Fires; Guideline for Public Health Units. Wellington: Ministry of Health

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Twentieth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels – National Academies Press – 2011

Posted on July 7, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: |

Twentieth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels – National Academies Press – 2011

“Description

Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, fires, or accidents involving railroad cars or trucks transporting EHSs. They can also be released intentionally through terrorist activities, or inadvertently by improper storage or handling. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial facilities where EHSs are manufactured, used or stored, and in communities along the nation’s railways and highways, are potentially at risk of being exposed to airborne EHSs during accidental or intentional releases.

The Twentieth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels: Part A presents conclusions and recommendations for improving the National Advisory Committee (NCA) on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGL) documents for the various twenty-nine chemicals and chemical classes, among them being chloroacetyl chloride, butane, ethyl, and nitrogen mustards. In addition to providing advisory data, the interim report reviews the proposed AEGLs for scientific validity, completeness, internal consistency, and conformance to prior National Research Council guideline reports. The report reviews NAC’s research recommendations and-when appropriate-identifies additional priorities for research to fill data gaps. Moreover, this all-inclusive report provides updated technical guidance for establishing community emergency exposure levels for extremely hazardous substances pursuant to the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986.”

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Safe management of healthcare waste 2nd ed – [UK] Department of Health – 25 March 2011

Posted on April 29, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Health, Health Mgmt Policy Planning, Infection Control, Occupational Hlth Safety |

Safe management of healthcare waste 2nd ed – [UK] Department of Health – 25 March 2011

Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe management for healthcare waste

“This document provides a framework for good practice for the management of healthcare waste.”

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Health and the environment: a compilation of evidence – AIHW – 30 March 2011

Posted on April 5, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Health, Health Status | Tags: |

Health and the environment: a compilation of evidence – AIHW – 30 March 2011

“There is increasing awareness that our health and the environment in which we live are closely linked. This report compiles evidence on the relationship between health and a selected list of environmental factors including `natural’ features (such as temperature and ultraviolet radiation) and aspects of our surroundings which have been created by humans (such as housing and transport). The results of this compilation highlight that: our surroundings can influence our physical health and mental wellbeing through a variety of channels; health and wellbeing may be affected in both positive and negative ways; humans, through their intervention in the environment, can play a vital role in exacerbating or reducing health risks. As the pathways involved can be indirect and complex, this report also examines some of the difficulties involved in assessing the broader relationship between health and the environment.”

ISSN 978-1-74249-129-5; Cat. no. PHE 136

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Reporting on Sustainability Framework – NHS Sustainable Development Unit – 2011

Posted on March 18, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: |

Reporting on Sustainability Framework – NHS Sustainable Development Unit – 2011

“Improving the sustainability of the NHS and reducing the NHS carbon footprint has the benefit of saving money. That’s the reason why the NHS SDU and the Department of Health have developed an innovative new framework which will help the NHS report on sustainability.

The framework will be included in the annual reports of NHS organisations, as part of the process of making the NHS more financially and environmentally sustainable.

It will be voluntary for 2010/11 accounts but will be mandatory from 2011/12 onwards.”

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Measuring Sustainable Development – APHO, Association of Public Health Observatories Technical Briefing 9 – February 2011

Posted on March 4, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: |

Measuring Sustainable Development – APHO, Association of Public Health Observatories Technical Briefing 9 – February 2011

“This briefing looks at sustainable development and carbon reduction measurement: the metrics and tools already available, future developments and the wider political and ethical context.”

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Route Map for sustainable health – NHS Sustainable Development Unit – February 2011

Posted on February 7, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: |

Route Map for sustainable health – NHS Sustainable Development Unit – February 2011

“The Route Map is a collaborative effort across the NHS and its partners to describe a sustainable health system and the components that are needed to achieve it.”

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Making sustainability add up: accounting for sustainability – a strategic priority for foundation trusts – NHS Confederation – 8 November 2010

Posted on January 14, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Health |

Making sustainability add up: accounting for sustainability – a strategic priority for foundation trusts – NHS Confederation –  8 November 2010

ISBN: 978-1-85947-185-2
“Accounting for sustainability – that is, measuring, reporting, and managing the social and environmental impacts of doing business – is now a strategic priority for foundation trusts.”

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Multi-City Mortality & Morbidity Study – Environmental Protection and Heritage Council – reports dated 9 September 2010

Posted on September 14, 2010. Filed under: Cardiol / Cardiothor Surg, Environmental Health, Respiratory Medicine | Tags: , , |

Multi-City Mortality & Morbidity Study – Environmental Protection and Heritage Council – reports dated 9 September 2010

“In May 2003, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council approved a research study which examined the effects of air pollution of human health in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Canberra in Australia, and from Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand.

The study included an analysis of data from these cities on mortality and hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular disease using a standardised statistical approach consistent with large multi-city studies in the USA and Europe. The study also included an analysis of the health effects attributed to PM2.5 and PM10. The principal investigators were the University of the Sunshine Coast in association with the School of Population Health, University of Queensland, and associate investigators include New South Wales Health, Queensland Health, Environment Protection Victoria, West Australian Department of Environment Protection, Environment ACT, and the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment.

A final report of the study was presented by the investigators in 2006. A peer review of the study was initiated in 2007, focusing on the study design, the soundness and reliability of the statistical methods used and whether the methods employed had been applied appropriately.

The peer review was conducted by international experts (Prof Ross Anderson and Dr Richard Atkinson, St Georges Hospital, London; Dr Lucas Neas, US EPA; and, Dr Annette Peters, GSF Germany). All reviewers provided positive responses to the report and did not identify any issues with the method used in the analysis. Most comments focused on interpretation and presentation of the results. These issues were relayed to the researchers and were addressed in the finalisation of the report for the EPHC in July 2010.

The study will provide useful information for the review of the Ambient Air Quality NEPM.”

Expansion of the Multi-City Mortality and Morbidity Study – Executive Summary & Summary Report – Sept 2010 222KB

Multi-city – Volume 1 – Expansion of the Multi-City Mortality and Morbidity Study – Sept 2010 183KB

Multi-city – Volume 2 – Expansion of the Multi-City Mortality and Morbidity Study – Sept 2010 1.69MB

Multi-city – Volume 3 – Expansion of the Multi-City Mortality and Morbidity Study – Sept 2010 1.81MB

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Public Health Preparedness and Response to Chemical and Radiological Incidents: Functions, Practices, and Areas for Future Work – RAND – 2009

Posted on August 6, 2009. Filed under: Disaster Management, Environmental Health, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

Public Health Preparedness and Response to Chemical and Radiological Incidents: Functions, Practices, and Areas for Future Work
By: Tom LaTourrette, Lynn E. Davis, David R. Howell, Preethi R. Sama, David J. Dausey
RAND Corporation 2009    66 p.  Document Number: TR-719-DHHS

“One area of public health emergency preparedness that has not been examined in depth is preparedness for incidents involving the release of chemical or radiological substances. Past experience — with chemical and nuclear plant accidents, train collisions, product tampering, and chemical terrorism — shows that such incidents can have serious public health consequences. This report focuses on the roles of the public health service in emergency preparedness and its response to chemical and radiological incidents. The authors develop a functional framework for public health roles in such incidents by aligning the capabilities and roles of the public health service with the emergency preparedness and response activities that would be required for those incidents. They use this framework to examine representative state and local public health department practices and to identify areas where further practice development may be warranted.”

Download PDF Full Document
(File size 2.2 MB, 9 minutes modem, < 1 minute broadband)

Download PDF Summary Only
(File size 0.2 MB, < 1 minute modem, < 1 minute broadband)

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National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (US) – website launched by CDC – 7 July 2009

Posted on July 9, 2009. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: , |

National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (US) – website launched by CDC – 7 July 2009

Press release
“CDC Launches New Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
Revolutionary Environmental Health Tracking Tool designed to help improve and protect our nation’s health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today the launch of the Web-based Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, a surveillance tool that scientists, health professionals, and – for the first time – members of the public can use to track environmental exposures and chronic health conditions.

“The ability to examine many data sets together for the first time has already resulted in faster responses to environmental health issues.  We believe the Tracking Network holds the potential to shed new light on some of our biggest environmental health questions,” said Howard Frumkin, M.D., M.P.H., DrPh., director,  of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

The web-based tool unites vital environmental information from across the country, including air and water pollutants  and  information for some chronic conditions, including asthma, cancer, childhood lead poisoning and heart disease into one resource.

While scientists know exposures such as air particle pollution and lead contribute to illnesses, many environmental and health connections remain unproven since detailed health and environmental data existed in separate silos until now.”  …continues on the website

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The Investigation and Surveillance of Poisonings and Hazardous Substances Injuries: Guidelines for Public Health Units – NZ Ministry of Health – May 2009

Posted on May 27, 2009. Filed under: Environmental Health, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion |

The Investigation and Surveillance of Poisonings and Hazardous Substances Injuries: Guidelines for Public Health Units – NZ Ministry of Health

Date of publication (online): May 2009

Summary of publication

“The guidelines provide guidance to public health staff who investigate complaints of adverse health impacts from any poisonings and chemical or hazardous substances injuries (chemical exposure incidents) in non-occupational settings. These guidelines should also be used whenever a notification of chemical exposure/injury for both occupational and non-occupational environments is notified to the public health unit.

Use of these guidelines will assist with determining: the health risk of a chemical exposure incident and whether further investigation is required; appropriate advice on managing the consequences of the incident, including risk communication; improvements in public education and the provision of information to support programmes and interventions to prevent injury and/or unintentional exposure to hazardous substances.

These guidelines are intended to provie guidance on poisoning and hazadous substances injuries that are legally required under the Health Act and Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.”

ISBN numbers: 978-0-478-31930-9 (print)
978-0-478-31931-6 (on line)

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Healthy hospitals, healthy planet, healthy people: addressing climate change in health care settings – May 2009

Posted on May 27, 2009. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: , |

Healthy hospitals, healthy planet, healthy people: addressing climate change in health care settings (pdf) WHO May 2009

“This paper is the first step in a WHO project in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) aimed at addressing the climate footprint of the health sector. A second step, to be taken together with HCWH, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, will be a series of consultations that will lead to the establishment of a global network for climate-friendly health care.”

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Protecting health from climate change – top 10 actions for health professionals – WHO – 2009

Posted on May 26, 2009. Filed under: Environmental Health | Tags: |

Protecting health from climate change – top 10 actions for health professionals – WHO – 2009

WHO Public Health and Environment – news from the sixty-second World Health Assembly on climate change and health and other environmental issues

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Lifestyles, consumption and environmental impact project – CSIRO survey available to all Australian residents, open until 30 June 2009

Posted on May 22, 2009. Filed under: Environmental Health, Health Status, Preventive Healthcare, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

Lifestyles, consumption and environmental impact project – CSIRO survey available to all Australian residents and  open until 30 June 2009

“This research is looking at the lifestyle choices made by Australian households to determine consumption patterns and the impacts these have on quality of life and the environment.

Background
Decisions households make about where to live, whether to buy or rent a house, how many children to raise and what major items to purchase, as well as the behaviours affected by these decisions, strongly influence the impact a society has on the physical environment.

There is a relationship between a household’s understanding of a good life, the way members of the household consume and spend their time, and the resource and emissions intensity of these behaviours.

Research approach
In our research, we think about consumption as a social phenomenon rather than an issue of individual choice.

As such, we aim to establish distinguishable types of households that share key structural attributes, behaviour patterns and prospects of changing these behaviours over time.

To achieve this, we combine qualitative and quantitative social sciences methods, such as interviews and questionnaires, to enhance our understanding of lifestyle typologies and their related consumption and time use patterns.

Australian context
In our research, we classify Australian households according to their lifestyles in ways relevant to their environmental impact. That is, we assign the relevant resource use and emission intensities to the different consumption patterns.

We then identify the household behaviours with the greatest impact on the environment and those with the greatest potential to reduce impact.

Understanding patterns and dynamics within Australian society with regard to lifestyles and consumption is an important issue for informing our understanding of:

  • the co-evolution of production and consumption
  • the roles of technology and lifestyles in production and consumption.

The other important element of our research is to identify policy contexts where households may consider adopting lifestyle and consumption alternatives that are more environmentally sound and less carbon intensive.

Current activities
The project team is currently conducting a National Household Consumption Survey. The survey is available to all Australian residents and is open until 30 June 2009.”

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Sustainable food: a guide for hospitals – UK Department of Health 6 May 2009

Posted on May 7, 2009. Filed under: Environmental Health, Health Mgmt Policy Planning | Tags: |

from NHS Networks –   Sustainable food: a guide for hospitals (pdf 2.48 MB)

“How hospitals can assure the sustainability of their food service provision

This guide describes why the sustainability of food is important, provides guidance on what hospitals can do to improve the sustainability of the food they provide to patients, staff and visitors, and advises on how hospitals can assure the sustainability of their food service provision.

The guide provides practical guidance, signposting and uses case study examples to illustrate some of the initiatives currently being taken by the health sector. It highlights cross-governmental initiatives around public sector food and anticipates the forthcoming Healthier Food Mark, a voluntary assurance scheme for all public sector organisations that provide food.

The guidance it contains will help hospitals to respond to a range of government, departmental and third sector food policy and strategy initiatives relating to healthier, more sustainable food.

The guide is aimed primarily at catering and procurement staff, but will also be of use to facilities directors and commissioners when planning service developments.”

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A Children’s Environment and Health Strategy for the United Kingdom 24 March 2009

Posted on April 29, 2009. Filed under: Child Health / Paediatrics, Environmental Health | Tags: |

A Children’s Environment and Health Strategy for the United Kingdom

The Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe (CEHAPE) is an initiative led by the World Health Organization Regional Office (WHO) for Europe. It was launched in June 2004 and signed by all 53 member states of the WHO European Region, including the UK. The aim of the CEHAPE is to protect the health of children and young people from environmental hazards.

The Health Protection Agency has been commissioned by the Department of Health, on behalf of the Interdepartmental Steering Group on Environment and Health, to evaluate children’s environmental health in the United Kingdom (UK) and develop recommendations as to how the UK can best meet its commitments under CEHAPE and further protect children’s health.

A Children’s Environment and Health Strategy for the UK was published on 24 March 2009. The Strategy provides a brief overview of children’s health in relation to their environment in the UK and recommends areas that should be taken forward in order to protect and promote children’s health and to meet the UK’s commitment to CEHAPE.

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