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LINKING PUBLIC HEALTH AND AIR QUALITY DATA FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
STONE, S. AND D. T. LOBDELL. LINKING PUBLIC HEALTH AND AIR QUALITY DATA FOR ACCOUNTABILITY. Presented at Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA, June 07, 2006.
Program Area: Environmental Health
Topic Area: Linking Public Health Data into Action
Title of Presentation: Linking Public Health and Air Quality Data for Accountability
Background and Significance
Tracking environmental exposures to air pollutants is a priority public health concern for state health departments, the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). As a priority environmental health concern, having the appropriate indicators and measures to track long term trends in key hazards, exposures, and health effects is critical for translating and disseminating relevant and meaningful information to policy makers. Several different programs and initiatives including the State Environmental Health Indicators Collaborative (SEHIC), the CDC's asthma program, the CDC's Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) program¿s Public Health Air Surveillance (PHASE) project, and the USEPA¿s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), and Office of Research and Development (ORD) are working towards the development of indicators to track and monitor air quality and health in the United States. These efforts will help respond to the National Research Council's mandate to EPA and the States to measure the effect of implementing air quality regulations on public health.
Objectives, Methods and Results
This presentation will be the last of three presentations for the break out session Environmental Public Health Indicators (EPHI). The goal of this presentation is to briefly describe the mandate from the National Research Council (i.e., to measure the effect on public health that results from air quality regulations and programs), how that mandate will impact State and Territorial health and air quality agencies, and EPA's accountability framework for the development of indicators to respond to this mandate. In this context, EPHI's will need to be developed to reflect more closely the actual impacts on public health that result from environmental decision-making and to help clarify the health benefits and financial costs associated with further incremental environmental improvements. The current label applied to this overall effort is accountability, i.e., the USEPA's desire to be more accountable to the public in demonstrating true environmental progress. The USEPA will introduce their accountability framework for indicator development and describe the need for indicators that meet the specific programmatic objectives and goals laid out for environmental monitoring programs and how they relate to both the SEHIC and CDC efforts. On-going research and development will be instrumental for the success of the accountability initiative. The key to using outcome-based indicators is a clear understanding of the sequence of events that link changes in the environmental conditions to health. USEPA will describe current research activities (including extramural activities) as part of this initiative. (This is an abstract of a proposed presentation and does not necessarily reflect EPA policy.)
Susan Stone -- EPA/OAR
Danelle Lobdell -- EPA/ORD