Environmental health refers to those aspects of public health that are associated with interrelationships between people and their environment, whether natural or man-made. It also applies to the practice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that can potentially affect people’s health.
In New Hampshire, environmental health-related programs and services are provided by a number of state agencies including DES. The specific focus areas of the DES Environmental Health Program include health risk assessment, toxic air pollutants and environmental health education. Information on these topics as well as related environmental health initiatives provided by other programs and agencies is provided below.
Environmental Health Education: Education and outreach are key to increasing awareness about the links between the environment and human health. Environmental Health Program staff take an active role in providing information to New Hampshire citizens on how chemicals in our environment can impact health, and in helping to identify and address environmental health concerns in communities where toxic substances may have been released into the environment. Environmental health education issues addressed by staff range from publicizing air quality action days and fish consumption guidelines, to conducting public information meetings on health impacts of contaminated sites. Staff also provide Environmental Justice presentations to universities, regional groups, and in-house training to DES staff.