Environmental Public Health Tracking Network Launched by CDC

(July 9, 2009)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently took a step toward helping to identify the potential impacts of pollution in local communities. The Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (EPHT) is a web-based tool that allows scientists, health professionals, and—for the first time—the American public, to track data about environmental exposures and chronic health conditions. Asthma hospitalizations, in addition to air quality, are some of the factors being tracked. The American Lung Association participated in the early planning for this network.

The web-based tool is an important first step in uniting vital environmental information from across the country, including air pollutants, with information for some chronic conditions, including asthma, cancer, childhood lead poisoning and heart disease into one resource.

This network shows the need for more information on the prevalence and incidence of diseases, as well as the need for enhanced monitoring of air pollution to better identify potential relationships between them. 

For decades, the Lung Association has worked to inform the public about threats to their health from air pollution, through resources like our annual State of the Air report. Likewise, the CDC’s EPHT will support our fight for healthy lungs and clean air by giving citizens another tool to explore the healthfulness of their environment.

The American Lung Association will continue working with the CDC and others to encourage the expansion of accessible tools to that cover a wider range of health conditions and environmental factors in the future.

To learn more about air pollution, its health impacts and the quality in your area, visit our State of the Air report. Click here to learn how you can get involved in our fight for air.