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Last Edited: 5/6/2014

Newsletters

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here.  View past issues of the CEHTP newsletter below.  

2014 Spring Pesticides and schools report  -  Imperial County community air monitoring project  -  New resources
2013-2014 Winter Planning and public health  -  Study of pesticides and birth defect
2013 Summer CEHTP Data Services and CalEnviroScreen  -  New data on national Tracking portal
2013 Spring Water boundary tool accomplishments  -  New data on national Tracking portal
2012 Fall-Winter Breast cancer maps  -  New cancer and climate change data  -  CECs for online courses on Tracking
2012 Summer New childhood lead guidelines  -  ALS surveillance project  -  Cap and trade HIA article published  -  CA asthma summit 
2012 Spring
Mapping drinking water systems  -  Collaborations to advance climate change researchdownload newsletter
2011 Winter Mapping climate change vulnerability -  New climate change data & info  -  EH Leadership Summit  -  Job openingdownload newsletter
2011 Fall Tracking success story: maps in San Diego  -  Partner news: biomonitoring and health download newsletter
2011 Summer Healthy homes - Partner profile - Lead in the environment  download newsletter
2011 Spring Environmental health disparities in Imperial County  -  Partner profile  -  Data on disparities  -  Perchlorate biomonitoring  -  What you can do  download newsletter
2010 Winter Asthma in California  -  Partner profile  -  New data on portal  download newsletter
2010 Summer-Fall Partnerships in tracking  -  Partner profiles  download newsletter
2010 Spring Geocoding tool  -  Geocoding webinar  -  Asthma grants  download newsletter
2009 Winter Pesticide mapping tool  download newsletter
2009 Fall Tracking climate change impacts  -  Mapping breast cancer  download newsletter
2009 Summer Web portal launch  -  National tracking portal  download newsletter

CEHTP logo and sky
IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
New Pesticides and Schools Report
Community Air Monitoring Project in Imperial
New Resources
Upcoming CEHTP Presentations   
 
 
 
 
Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
 Feedback
We welcome
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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
tracking@cdph.ca.gov
 








 

Spring 2014

 

New Report on Agricultural Pesticides and Schools  
 

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) announces the release of our new study: Agricultural Pesticide Use Near Public Schools in California.

 

 

Agricultural pesticide use near schools

 

California agriculture produces nearly half of all fruits and vegetables grown in the United States.  These foods are essential components of a healthful diet and help promote public health in the state and throughout the country.  Agricultural production frequently relies on the application of pesticides, which can be hazardous to human health under some circumstances.  Until now, little was known about the use of agricultural pesticides near schools in California.

 

 

CEHTP conducts study to track pesticide use near schools

 

CEHTP examined the use of selected agricultural pesticides near public schools in the top 15 counties by agricultural pesticide use in California for 2010.  The goal was to improve the methodology for ongoing surveillance of agricultural pesticides in order to understand patterns of pesticide use.  It is important to note that this study does not measure schoolchildren's actual exposures to pesticides. The use of pesticides near a school does not mean that exposure has occurred or that the health of any child or adult has been impacted. This study can suggest locations where the risk of exposure may be greater; however, actual exposure can only be determined by direct measurement of pesticides or their breakdown products in the body or inferred from physical symptoms or laboratory tests. The information in this study may help inform policy decisions related to pesticide use.  

 

CEHTP obtained the best available data at the time of the study on pesticide applications, locations of agricultural fields, and locations of school buildings and grounds (provided by the Department of Pesticide Regulation, Department of Education, Department of Water Resources, and county agricultural commissioners).  We then used GIS and data expertise to enhance the data's geographic accuracy.  We linked the pesticide use data with the school location data to determine the types and amounts of agricultural pesticides used within ¼ mile of public schools.  We focused on pesticides of public health concern, which were selected based on known health effects or regulatory status.       

 

 

New information generated

 

With this surveillance methodology, CEHTP assessed the use of selected agricultural pesticides within ¼ mile of public schools in 15 counties for 2010 (the most recent year for which pesticide use data were available at the time of the study).  The study included 2,511 public schools, which were attended by over 1.4 million students in total.  CEHTP was able to: 

  • Assess the types and amounts of pesticides used near schools
  • Identify the top pesticides used near schools 
  • Determine which counties had the most schools and students near pesticide use
  • Characterize student demographics for schools near the most pesticide use

Overall, we found that:

  • Most schools did not have any pesticides of public health concern used nearby.  We studied 2,511 public schools in 15 counties.  We found that 64% of these schools (1,612 schools) did not have any pesticides of concern used within ¼ mile.
  • A small percentage of schools had many pounds of these pesticides used nearby. The top 5% of schools with any pesticides of concern used within ¼ mile (45 schools) had amounts ranging from 2,635 lb to 28,979 lb.
  • Hispanic children were more likely to attend schools near the highest pesticide use. Hispanic children were nearly twice more likely than White children to attend the schools in the top quartile of pesticides of concern used nearby.  The amounts of pesticides used within ¼ mile of these schools ranged from 319 lb to 28,979 lb. 

For more details on the study results, go to www.cehtp.org/p/pesticides_and_schools 

 

 

Results can inform future research and decision-making 

 

It is important to note that this study did not attempt to measure schoolchildren's actual exposures to pesticides and, therefore, cannot quantify specific doses or predict potential health impacts.  The methodology developed for this study can be used by school officials, county agricultural commissioners, pesticide regulators, exposure assessment scientists, and others to:

  • Assess and inform policies such as school-siting decisions and pesticide application permitting regulations
  • Guide current and  future monitoring efforts- such as air monitoring, soil sampling, and biomonitoring- and epidemiologic research studies
  • Assess pesticide use near other potentially sensitive sites or populations

This study demonstrates the successful use of existing environmental public health tracking infrastructure to develop and implement a methodology that can identify locations where potential risks of pesticide-related exposure and health effects may be elevated.    

 

 

Study indicates the need for better data

 

While conducting the study, CEHTP found that changes in how data are currently collected and disseminated would allow similar studies to be more easily conducted in the future.  For example, standardized collection, accessible databases, and ongoing surveillance would offer better information for research purposes. 

 

 

For more information

 

The report and related materials can be found at www.cehtp.org/p/pesticides_and_schools.  Inquiries should be directed to the CDPH Office of Public Affairs at CDPHPressOPA@cdph.ca.gov.

 

 

CEHTP Begins Community Air Monitoring Project in Imperial County  

 

CEHTP has been awarded a new grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a 4-year community-based air monitoring research project in Imperial County, CA, in partnership with Comité Cívico del Valle (a local community organization and long-time collaborator), the University of Washington, and others.  The broad goal of this project is to use a community-engaged research process to better understand air pollution patterns in Imperial Valley in order to reduce air pollution exposures and improve health among residents.  

 

The project will engage members from impacted communities to design an Air Quality Monitoring Network (AQMN) consisting of 40 low-cost, portable air monitors placed throughout Imperial County.  Community participants will map community assets and environmental hazards to inform the placement of the monitors, which will be set up and maintained by trained community members and will remain in the community after the project ends.  The data collected by the monitors will be displayed for public use on the Imperial Visions Action Network (IVAN), the community-based environmental reporting site developed by Comité Cívico del Valle and other partners for Imperial County.

 

Using advanced analytical methods, data from the AQMN will be used to develop highly detailed maps of air quality throughout the county, enabling identification of hot spots near vulnerable communities.  These results will inform the development of a community-driven public health action plan for reducing exposures and improving health.  The project team is currently reaching out to potential collaborators and stakeholders for this project, including other organizations currently working to monitor air quality or address environmental concerns in Imperial Valley. 

 

To learn more about this project, click here or contact CEHTP at tracking@cdph.ca.gov or (510) 620-3038.

 

New Public Health Resources Available  
  

Healthy Housing Report

 

The California Department of Public Health's (CDPH) California Breathing Asthma Program recently released its first Healthy Housing report to inform, support, and enhance the efforts of stakeholders who are working to improve housing throughout California.   The report provides state-level data relating to the overlap between housing and health on over thirty indicators such as lead poisoning, second hand smoke, and unintentional injury.  Main report findings relate to health disparities, poverty, and inadequate access to healthy housing.  Click here to download the report. 

 

 

Cosmetics Database

 

CDPH's California Safe Cosmetics Program recently launched a searchable cosmetic product database that contains data from cosmetic companies on products with a chemical ingredient known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. This is a publically accessible database where users can search by specific products, brand names, or chemical ingredients.  The database also has useful information for consumers who use cosmetics and how exposure to chemicals can affect health. Click here to access the database.     

 

 
The California Environmental HealthTracking Program is a collaboration of the California Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute.  This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000953-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

 

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Planning and Health
Research on Pesticides and Male Birth Defect
Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
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(510) 620-3038
tracking@cdph.ca.gov
 








 

Winter 2013-2014

 

Planning: What's Health Got To Do With It?  

 

Note: this article is adapted from "What's Health Got To Do With It?", Max Richardson, Galatea King, Kara Vuicich, and Jeremy Nelson, The Commissioner

 

Some of the largest public health challenges of today are related to how we plan and build our communities. These include high rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma, as well as the public health impacts of climate change. While these issues affect us all, they disproportionately affect disadvantaged communities. Making planning decisions with community health and health equity in mind will require environmental and public health data.

 

For these reasons, planning officials in many communities are redoubling their efforts to prioritize land use patterns that locate affordable housing close to jobs and services and create transportation systems where walking, biking, and public transit are safe and viable options.

 

Jeremy Nelson- a professional planner and Vice President with Vialta Group, and a member of CEHTP's advisory group- states that

 

Transportation and land use planning is a fundamental shaper of our daily lives and routines, and, for that reason, public health should be at the forefront of every planning decision we make in our communities. Having good public health data is critical to maintaining attention and accountability on these issues-as the old saying goes 'What gets measured gets managed.'

 

 

(Re)convergence of Planning and Public Health

The American planning profession is rooted in public health. Early planners dealing with the effects of industrialization and rapid urbanization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were motivated by a desire to promote better health.

 

However, the planning and public health professions diverged during the postwar period. Urban planning began to focus on economic growth and large-scale transportation and infrastructure projects. Public health became increasingly concerned with controlling and eradicating infectious disease.

 

During this time, chronic and environmental illnesses were on the rise. Over several decades, it became apparent that these health issues are influenced by how our communities are designed, and many public health practitioners and planners initially found themselves unequipped to address the interrelated challenges of community design and health. Fortunately, the two professions have begun working together to better understand and address the impacts that our built environment has on health, and new tools are emerging to build and plan for healthy cities. Urban planning, like public health, is a data-driven field. Public health data and surveillance is a key component for bringing health into planning processes.

 

Below are some examples of how new data and tools are facilitating the re-emergence of "healthy planning," and how in some California communities, planners are putting public health at the forefront of their work.

 

Long-Range Planning for Healthy Communities

General (or Comprehensive) Plans are the "constitution" for community
development and required by California law. They act as blueprints for how a city will grow, and by design, pull together a broad range of stakeholders and community priorities. More communities in California have begun voluntarily incorporating health into their General Plans.

 

The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is in the process of updating California's General Plan Guidelines. For the first time, OPR will provide guidance on land-use related health considerations.

 

Elizabeth Baca, MD, MPA and the Senior Health Advisor in OPR notes

 

It is an exciting time to be part of the team updating the guidelines. We have been doing broad outreach across the state. Although health is an optional consideration in general plans, we are seeing a growing interest to address health. In our outreach, it has become clear how important data is to help inform policy and plan for healthy places. Using data to examine the spatial relationship among health outcomes, social, environmental, and economic conditions is an important first step to improve health at a population level. 

 

Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S., has a dense downtown core, diverse neighborhoods and communities throughout the city, and expansive suburban valleys. In collaboration with a broad range of city departments, elected officials, and community stakeholders, the city is developing a Health and Wellness Chapter for its General Plan that will benefit its many diverse communities. Based upon an assessment of public health data and community needs, the Health and Wellness Chapter will outline a series of goals, policies, and programs to include health in the city's future development. More information is available here.

 

Evaluating Health Impacts of New Development

San Francisco has used Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) to evaluate potential health impacts of proposed development for over a decade. In 2003, a new development project with 1,400 new condominiums was proposed for a site with 360 existing rent-controlled apartments. The new development proposed including only 170 low-income units. At the request of community residents affected by the project, the San Francisco Department of Public Health conducted an HIA to review the project's potential health impacts. 

 

The HIA found that the project could have serious adverse effects on displacement and homelessness, thereby affecting residents' mental health, social networks, and overall well-being. Informed by public health data and working with the developer, a plan was crafted to replace the 360 rent-controlled units and provide a community meeting space and children's play area. More information is available here.

 

Planning for Climate Change and Public Health

Climate change will impact the very nature of environmental public health and is forcing cities to re-think how they develop for the future. California is leading the nation in setting policies to slow further climate change and help communities adapt to its impacts. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), in collaboration with private, public, and non-profit partners, is working to integrate health into climate action planning at the state and local level. CDPH offers guidance and trainings for local health departments, planners, and other partners on various strategies to include health in climate change mitigation and adaption planning. More information is available here.

 

Using Environmental Health Data for Planning

Two key challenges for planners aiming to incorporate health into their work are evaluating health outcomes and accessing health and environmental data. Both the National Environmental Health Public Tracking Program and CEHTP can offer resources to planners. Some of the data and tools available through CEHTP that can help inform planning include:

 

  • Our traffic tool, which reports traffic volumes at specific locations throughout California
  • Local level data for asthma and birth outcomes
  • Indicators of climate change vulnerability at the community level

 

For more information on CEHTP and the data and tools available, please visit www.CEHTP.org.

 

CEHTP Contributes to New Research on Pesticides and Birth Defect 

 

 

In partnership with CEHTP, researchers from Stanford University examined the association between pesticides and hypospadias, a common male birth defect affecting approximately 600,000 to 900,000 males in the United States. Hypospadias is a significant public health issue which sometimes requires surgical correction and can cause impaired sexual function and emotional and social difficulties stemming from the condition.

 

The research team examined whether infants were at increased risk of hypospadias if their mothers lived in close proximity to where pesticides were used while pregnant. CEHTP staff contributed to the study by geocoding birth records and then using the CEHTP pesticide linkage tool to link birth records with pesticide use records. Analyzing these data for eight counties in the agricultural Central Valley, the study team found that fifteen pesticides were weakly associated with hypospadias. The study results were published in the Journal of Pediatrics on October 28, 2013. While more research is needed, these results extend the growing body of knowledge on this important public health issue.

 

For more information about the study, view the press release here.

 

Learn more about the Pesticide Linkage Tool and other CEHTP data services here.

 
 
The California Environmental HealthTracking Program is a collaboration of the California Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute.  This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000953-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
 
In This Issue
Data Services and CalEnviroScreen
New Data on National Tracking Portal

Upcoming CEHTP Presentations

  

International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE)

 

Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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 your comments and suggestions for our newsletter.
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California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
tracking@cdph.ca.gov
 








 

Summer 2013

 

CEHTP Data Services and CalEnviroScreen

 

 

CEHTP provides data analysis and linkage services

 

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) makes environmental and health data accessible, usable, and understandable for a variety of users, including community members, policy-makers, advocacy organizations, and researchers. We provide a variety of online data resources related to air quality, asthma, drinking water, heart attacks, birth defects, childhood lead poisoning, and other environmental health topics.  Users can also make custom requests for data not currently available via our online data queries and web tools

 

As part of our services, CEHTP can conduct custom analyses of environmental and health data, including calculation of rates using advanced spatial statistics. Users can also request displays of data in maps, tables, and charts.

 

CEHTP also conducts "record-level spatial linkage" with data related to environmental hazards, such as traffic and agricultural pesticide data. This means that we use geographic location to link any dataset that contains a geographic component (such as addresses) with hazard datasets (such as those from CalTrans or the Department of Pesticide Regulation) to calculate a variety of hazard metrics for each record. The user can define a number of linkage parameters, including the area to be analyzed around each location.

 

 

CalEnviroScreen uses CEHTP data

 

CalEnviroScreen, developed by Cal/EPA and its Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), is the nation's first comprehensive statewide environmental health screening tool. The tool identifies "communities most burdened by pollution from multiple sources and most vulnerable to its effects."

 

CEHTP conducted custom analyses for OEHHA, providing zip code-level data for the CalEnviroScreen asthma and traffic indicators (see figure below).  We also also developing spatially-modeled heart attack and birth outcome data by census tract, which may be included in the next version of the screening tool.

 

 traffic map of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Area: Traffic Density by Zip Code

Map prepared by OEHHA using data provided by CEHTP

 

 

Other examples of data requests 

 

CEHTP data services have also been used by other organizations to:

  • Assess the effectiveness of heat alerts using heat-related hospitalization and emergency department data
  • Study the relationship between agricultural pesticides and birth defects
  • Study the relationship between traffic pollution and asthma

 

For more information 

 

CEHTP provides data services on a case-by-case basis dependent on staff availability.  Fees may be applied to some services.   Please contact us for more information or to make a request.

 

New Data Available on National Tracking Portal

 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network has released 60 new environmental and health measures.  In addition, the national tracking portal contains new infographics, blogger outreach tools, and a training page with resources for college-level instruction on environmental public health, as well as links to online courses that provide continuing education credits.

 

 

Searchable Data

 

You can search through the new data on the Tracking Network.

 map of arsenic in drinking water for CA

 

Yearly mean arsenic concentrations for community water systems in CA, 2011.

Newly developed "point maps" provide a new way to visualize data on yearly

mean concentrations of all 9 water contaminants on the National Tracking Network.

 

Visit the National Tracking Network to explore these new additions.

 
The California Environmental HealthTracking Program is a collaboration of the California Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute.  This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000953-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

 

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
 
In This Issue
Water Tool Accomplishments One Year After Launch
New Data on National Tracking Portal

Upcoming CEHTP Presentations

 

California Breast Cancer Research Program Symposium May 17-18 

 

Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
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Spring 2013

 

New Water System Boundary Data Swiftly Integrated Into Public Health Research  

 

CEHTP Collects New Data on Water System Boundaries

 

In February 2012, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) launched a web-based tool to assistglass of water water systems in creating digital maps of the areas they serve.  Prior to this effort, many systems only had paper maps, and there was no central location where this information was available for the entire state.  So far, the CEHTP water tool has compiled information for water systems that collectively serve almost 90% of the total California population. 

 

Since the launch, data on the location of these water system service areas have been publicly available for use in research studies and other public health activities (see examples below). This is the first time that such a comprehensive map of water system boundaries for California has been developed.  Compiling these data into a single digital dataset facilitates coordination among water system managers, public officials, and community groups when considering emergency preparedness, research, or future interventions to protect public health.

  

 

New Information Fuels Public Health Research

 

In just one year, new data on water system boundaries has enabled or facilitated efforts by state and local agencies, as well as university and non-governmental researchers, to conduct a number of new studies related to water quality, water costs, and the ongoing surveillance of California's water resources.  The data have also been incorporated into existing research efforts that are used to inform community planning.  Below are a few of the exciting research activities in progress, and we expect many more to come.

 

 

Researching water costs

The costs associated with providing and transporting drinking water in a clean, secure, and reliable fashion can vary by location, and it is unclear how pricing is set.  The Pacific Institute and the Community Water Center used the CEHTP water system boundary dataset as a core component of their research on water costs in California.

 

The researchers combined water boundary data with data on income and water costs to evaluate variations in price by census tract. "Understanding how different water suppliers determine pricing will be valuable for both the providers and for the customers," said Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith of the Pacific Institute.  "We know a lot about how water prices are changing, but we don't always know why.  This study will inform efforts to develop strategies for agencies to stay fiscally solvent while providing fair prices."  To learn more about the study, go to http://www.pacinst.org/reports/water_rates/.

 

 

Evaluating nitrate pollution in agricultural communities

Nitrate-contaminated drinking water can lead to serious illness in infants, and exposure to nitrates has been associated with certain cancers and adverse reproductive outcomes, including various birth defects.  In 2008, Senate Bill SBX2 1 (Perata) required that the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) submit to the legislature a report to "improve understanding of the causes of [nitrate] groundwater contamination, identify potential remediation solutions and funding sources to recover costs expended by the State ... to clean up or treat groundwater, and ensure the provision of safe drinking water."

 

In response to SBX2 1, the University of California at Davis (UCD), on behalf of the SWRCB, used the CEHTP water system boundary dataset, along with other information, to identify communities most exposed to nitrate contamination in drinking water and to propose potential remediation solutions.  The subsequent UCD report was used as the basis for the final SBX2 1 report provided by the SWRCB to the legislature in February 2013.  

 

 

Identifying regional solutions for drinking water contamination

Two regional partnerships- composed of cross-sector collaborations between local governments, engineering firms, and local non-profit organizations- have been established to identify solutions to drinking water contamination in disadvantaged communities.  These efforts are the Tulare Lake Basin Disadvantaged Community Water Study, administered by the County of Tulare, and the Kings Basin Disadvantaged Communities Pilot Study, administered by the Upper Kings Basin Integrated Regional Water Management Authority.  Both studies are funded by the California Department of Water Resources.

 

These studies are using stakeholder participation and a variety of planning and engineering tools to characterize water problems and develop long-term strategies for obtaining access to safe drinking water and reliable clean wastewater facilities.  As part of this effort to identify regional solutions, the CEHTP water system boundary dataset has been used to characterize water quality across the Tulare Lake Basin (which includes the Upper Kings Basin).

 

 

Identifying cumulative impacts at the neighborhood level

Researchers from Occidental College, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Southern California have been developing a Cumulative Impacts Screening Method.  Their research method provides a visual mapping tool and includes indicators of social, health, and environmental impacts to identify communities that may bear a disproportionate burden of pollution or disease.  The screening method has been used to assess and advance land use decision-making processes that promote environmental health.  As part of this effort, the research team has been incorporating the CEHTP water system boundary dataset into their tool to develop neighborhood metrics of drinking water quality.

 

 

Plans for the Future

 

Thanks to the ongoing, collaborative efforts by water systems and others to input their data into the CEHTP water tool, a statewide map of water system boundaries is now publicly available for planning, research, and other public health efforts.  This map is continually updated as water systems submit data or make edits when their system boundaries change.  CEHTP is working with the State's Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management (DDWEM) to promote use of the tool by providing access to it via the Electronic Annual Reporting System, which water systems use annually to report data to DDWEM.  CEHTP is also making improvements to the tool, such as enhancing the ability to add areas to an existing map or to create a map using property boundaries, to make it easier for water systems to enter and update information.

 

In just one year, the data compiled and provided through the CEHTP water system boundary tool have been used in a range of research and evaluation activities.  We hope that others continue to utilize this resource to inform public health policy, research, and action. Understanding how CEHTP data are utilized provides us with the feedback needed to make our tools as useful as possible for public health professionals and others within government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and communities.

 

 

For More Information

 

For more information about the CEHTP Drinking Water Systems Geographic Reporting Tool, please see the newsletter article announcing its launch or visit www.cehtp.org/p/water_tool_home.

 

The water system boundary data are publicly accessible at www.cehtp.org/p/water_dataset. To access data related to drinking water quality, please visit: www.cehtp.org/p/drinking_water.

 

This tool is part of a collaborative effort led by CEHTP in partnership with DDWEM, the state agency that regulates water systems, and the UC Davis Information Center for the Environment.

 

New Data Available on National Tracking Portal

 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network has launched a new Health Behaviors module. 

 

When examining chronic diseases and their potential connection to the environment, it is important to consider other health risk factors that could play a role in their development.  Four behaviors that can impact chronic diseases are lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. The National Tracking Network currently provides health behavior data on the numbers and percentages of adults who smoke.  CDC plans to add data on other health behaviors to the Tracking Network soon. 

 

The Community Design module of the Tracking Network now also includes data on Access to Parks.  These data will provide a better picture of the access people have to places where they can participate in physical activity. 

 

 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000953-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
 
In This Issue
Maps of Breast Cancer in California
New Cancer and Climate Change Data Available
CECs for Online Courses on Tracking
Announcements

Upcoming CEHTP Presentations

 

American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

 

Extreme Weather, Climate, and Health: Putting Research into Practice

 

Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
 









Fall-Winter 2012

 

New Breast Cancer Maps Generated Through Participatory Process  

 

The California Breast Cancer Mapping Project (CBCMP), convened by staff from the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, used a participatory process to develop statewide maps of elevated breast cancer rates in a manner considered appropriate and useful by diverse breast cancer stakeholders.  

The CBCMP Advisory Group - which consisted of breast cancer and environmental health advocates, clinicians, and public health practitioners - led the development of a mapping protocol to identify geographic areas with the highest rates of breast cancer, while maintaining scientific rigor and protecting patient confidentiality.  The mapping protocol can detect geographic areas both within and across county boundaries.  The protocol includes analyses of demographic characteristics to better describe the women diagnosed with breast cancer and the populations living in areas with elevated rates.  This information can help breast cancer advocates and public health staff target service needs, explore resource opportunities and suggest avenues for future research.

The protocol and resulting statewide maps of elevated breast cancer rates are detailed in a new report entitled California Breast Cancer Mapping Project:  Identifying Areas of Concern in California.

   

 

The participatory stakeholder process is described in a separate publication (currently in press).   

 

Visit www.californiabreastcancermapping.org to learn more about the project and to download the report.

The CBCMP is a project of the Public Health Institute and was funded through a grant from the California Breast Cancer Research Program of the University of California.  

 

 

New Cancer and Climate Change Data Available  
CEHTP has added new data to our website. 
  • Cancer- New cancers on the data query include mesothelioma, melanoma, liver and bile duct cancers, kidney cancers, and tobacco-related cancers.  Descriptions of these cancers are also provided.
  • Climate Change- We have developed a new data query on hospitalizations and emergency department visits due to heat events.  Summary tables for heat related illness and deaths are also available.  
Learn about Tracking and Earn Free CECs  

 

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has developed two online training courses: 

 

  • Environmental Public Health Tracking 101- This course gives an overview of the major components of Environmental Public Health Tracking.

 

  • Tracking in Action: Workforce Implementation- Tracking in Action provides real-life examples of grantee Tracking Programs and Networks and how they have partnered with local programs and organizations to identify and address environmental health concerns.

 

Both courses are available at no cost, and free continuing education credits from NEHA and CDC are available upon completion of each course.   

 

Visit http://www.neha.org/tracking.html for more information. 

   

Announcements  
  • Registration is now open for the California Asthma Summit: Research to Practice, December 5-6, 2012 in San Francisco.  Visit California Breathing's website for registration details, agenda, and other information.
  • The U.S. EPA's 2013 Environmental Justice Small Grant solicitation is now open and will close on January 7, 2013.  Visit EPA's Environmental Justice webpage for more information.  
 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000953-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
New Childhood Lead Exposure Guidelines
CEHTP Starts ALS Surveillance Project
Cap-And-Trade HIA Article Published
California Asthma Summit, Dec 5-6

Upcoming CEHTP Presentations

 

North American Association for Environmental Education

 

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting 

 

Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
 
 

Summer 2012

 

CDC Changes Childhood Lead Exposure Guidelines  

 

New National Guidelines

 

In May 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its guidelines for implementing interventions to reduce children's exposure to lead. Since 1991, the CDC has used the blood lead level (BLL) of 10 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL) as the "level of concern" which triggers public health interventions.  Following a recommendation by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, the terminology "level of concern" has been eliminated, and instead CDC will rely on a "reference level" of 5 μg/dL.  The reference level is based on the BLL under which 97.5% of the population falls.  This recommendation was based on scientific evidence that BLLs below 10 μg/dL are associated with cognitive deficits, as well as cardiovascular, immunological, and endocrine effects.
 

child getting blood tested for lead  

 

Screening in California 

 

Dr. Valerie Charlton, Chief of California's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (CLPPB), points out that California was already concerned about lower blood lead levels and has been working to prevent lead exposure. By state regulation, families of all children are to receive proactive guidance on lead exposure from their health care providers, from the time that a child is 6 months old up until age 6 years. Since 2008, CLPPB has recommended that health care providers re-test children found to have BLLs greater than 4.5 μg/dL and carry out additional evaluations and follow-up. Forty-two local programs throughout California are supported by CLPPB to carry out direct services related to identifying and reducing lead exposure.  Dr. Charlton says:  
 

In California, the number of children identified each year with lead exposure has been consistently decreasing. However, in 2010 (the last year with analyzed information) approximately 24,000 children had BLLs at or above 4.5 μg/dL, essentially falling under this new CDC guideline, versus 2,300 children with BLLs at or above 9.5 μg/dL, meeting the former CDC guideline. 

The Advisory Committee recommended to CDC that BLLs 5 μg/dL and above should trigger lead education, environmental investigation, and additional medical monitoring.  Linda Kite, Executive Director of the Healthy Homes Collaborative and member of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) Tracking Advisory Group, also served on the Advisory Committee.  Ms. Kite says:

The new guidelines will finally take our prevention and early intervention efforts to scale. We know that persistent low levels are more dangerous and disproportionately affect low-income communities of color.  By intervening early on, we will eventually see improved outcomes for children and begin to close the achievement gap. 

 

 

Data for California
 
CEHTP, in collaboration with CLPPB, provides data on the BLLs among children screened in California, including those with levels between 4.5 and <9.5 μg/dL.  In addition, the website provides county-level data on age of housing, as living or spending significant amounts of time in pre-1978 housing/buildings with paint in poor condition or undergoing renovation increases risk of lead poisoning. Visit the CEHTP Lead Poisoning Data Query for more information. 
 
 
Additional Resources
 

 

 

 

 

 
6.    American Public Health Association Conference on October 31st:
  
CEHTP Starts ALS Surveillance Project  
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often called 'Lou Gehrig's disease', is a disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. The nerves lose the ability to trigger specific muscles, which causes the muscles to become weak and eventually leads to paralysis. Although researchers are investigating several potential risk factors, including environmental exposures, no definitive cause has been found for most cases of ALS.

CEHTP has recently partnered with the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and McKing Consulting Corporation to implement a metropolitan area-based ALS surveillance project in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 2008, ATSDR established the congressionally mandated National ALS Registry. The National ALS Registry collects information that can be used to estimate the number of new cases of ALS diagnosed each year and the number of persons living with ALS in the United States.  The National ALS Registry also will help researchers better understand who gets ALS and what factors affect the disease.

The metropolitan area-based ALS surveillance project will assist ATSDR in evaluating the completeness of the National ALS Registry. Neurologists in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be contacted to obtain case information on ALS patients diagnosed or treated during a three-year period. Patients will not be contacted.
Information collected from this project not only will help validate the National ALS Registry but also will be used to learn more about ALS and its potential risk factors among Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area residents.

For more information, visit www.CEHTP.org/als.


Cap-And-Trade Health Impact Assessment Article Published  

The American Journal of Public Health recently published "A Health Impact Assessment of California's Proposed Cap-and-Trade Regulations."  The health impact assessment (HIA) was led by the California Environmental Health Tracking Program and the California Department of Public Health.  The objective of the HIA was to identify potential unintended health effects of the regulations and to recommend program changes to improve health. 

 

HIA is a systematic process that uses scientific data, health expertise, and public input to identify potential health effects of a proposed policy or development.  As part of the HIA process, recommendations are made for minimizing health risks and capitalizing on opportunities to improve health.
 
For more information, view the project description here.



 
California Asthma Summit: Putting Research Into Practice  *  December 5-6, 2012  *  San Francisco  
California Breathing, the asthma program of the California Department of Public Health, will be holding the department's biennial asthma research summit on December 5-6 in San Francisco. The aim of the summit is to bring together leading experts in asthma and asthma-related topics, to connect, discuss new research, and develop  strategies for addressing the burden of asthma. The summit will highlight both research and how it is translated into interventions, clinical practice, and policy. Physicians, nurses, researchers, asthma advocates, health educators, policy makers, and environmental health advocates are all encouraged to attend (CME and CEU credits pending approval).

This year's summit will include many exciting speakers. Much of the first day will focus on outdoor air pollution - from new research on how pollutants affect asthma at the cellular level to the global effects of climate change. Other speakers will discuss local efforts to reduce air pollution, including both government and grassroots programs. The second day will cover the latest research on indoor air quality, as well as interventions to improve housing conditions for people with asthma. In addition, there will be sessions focused on psychosocial stressors, clinical tools, genetics, work-related asthma, obesity, and even the hot topic of acetaminophen and asthma.

For more information, visit www.californiabreathing.org.

 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U38EH000953-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Mapping Drinking Water Systems
Collaborations to Advance Climate Change Research

Upcoming CEHTP Presentations

 

Environmental Health Data Training in Coachella Valley

 

Western Regional Epidemiology Network (WREN) Conference

 

National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) Conference

 

Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
 
 

Spring 2012

 

CEHTP Collects and Disseminates Essential Information About Drinking Water Systems

 

 
Drinking water is an important resource and a key route of potential exposure to environmental contaminants.  Public water systems supply drinking water to most Californians, and all water systems must comply with State and Federal standards for safe drinking water.  However, not all contaminants are regulated, and water systems may vary in their ability to comply with these standards. Furthermore, drinking water supplies are always at risk of contamination during natural or man-made disasters.  Therefore, an essential component to protecting public health from drinking water contaminants is to know the exact locations being served by each water system.

 

A lack of basic information

 

There are over 8,000 public water systems in California, which collectively provide drinking water to an estimated 90% of the population.  In California, these water systems are required to submit, at a minimum, a paper diagram of their customer service areas (i.e., maps of the locations they serve) in order to receive a permit to supply drinking water.  However, many water systems do not have electronic (digital) versions of their customer service areas, nor are they required to provide this digital information to the State.  For these reasons, no digital statewide map of water systems has been created, making it difficult to answer important questions such as:   
  • Which water system supplies a specific address?
  • What populations are served by a particular water system?
  • What is the drinking water quality for a specific community?
  • If there is a natural or man-made disaster in a specific location, which water systems should be contacted?
  • Which populations in the state are not supplied by public water systems?

Collaborative effort to map water systems

To enable these questions to be quickly and accurately answered, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) developed a web-based tool to assist water systems in creating digital maps of the areas they serve.  The tool also compiles all of the individual maps onto a single statewide map. 

This tool is part of a collaborative effort led by CEHTP in partnership with the California Department of Public Health's Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management (DDWEM), which is the state agency that regulates water systems, and the UC Davis Information Center for the Environment (ICE). 

The goal of this effort is to create an accurate and complete statewide map of water systems that is continually updated to capture changes to water system customer service areas as they occur over time. 

Benefits to water systems and information for the public 

 

The tool makes it very simple for water system personnel to input or create maps of their customer service areas.  The tool also allows them to view these areas on Google Maps, keep track of the areas as they change over time, download their digital maps, and collaborate with other users to improve and assure accuracy of their maps.  While the tool itself is not for public use, the digital files of customer service areas generated using the tool are now publicly available for download.      

 

water boundary
Customer service area for Apple Valley North, Golden State Water Company

 

These data and maps, which are subject to change as water systems continue to input and update their information, will help the water systems with their everyday planning and operating needs.  They will also be important for informing a variety of public health activities, including:

   

  • Preparedness to ensure that the public has access to safe drinking water during emergencies
  • Interventions to protect the public in the event of water system contamination
  • Research to better understand the relationship between drinking water and public health
The tool does not collect sensitive information, such as the locations of pipes or storage facilities.  Therefore, data made public through this effort do not pose a threat to national security.

 

"Working in concert with our Water Quality Department, I found that the CDPH web site for down loading boundary shape files was user friendly, well organized, and met our security needs. As a bonus, the site operators were available and responsive to questions."
 
- Larry Adgate

  Golden State Water Company

 

Next steps

 

This effort is just the beginning, and so far, information has been inputted for about 1,750 of the 8,200 water systems in California.  CEHTP, DDWEM, and UC Davis ICE will continue to work together to conduct outreach and provide assistance to water systems to encourage their participation in this effort.  CEHTP will continue to maintain and enhance the tool to optimize its use by water systems and other stakeholders to protect the health of Californians.
 
Collaborating with Academic Partners to Advance Research on Climate Change
 

UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Public Health Tracking

The UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Public Health Tracking received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collaborate with environmental public health tracking (EPHT) state and city grantees on research and surveillance projects that utilize EPHT data.  The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) has been working with the UC Berkeley Center on a variety of projects that utilize high-resolution data and advanced spatial statistics.  In addition, a representative from the UC Berkeley Center has served on the CEHTP advisory group since 2006.

Using tracking data to validate heat vulnerability screening method

University researchers previously developed a screening method that utilized a heat vulnerability index (HVI) to identify communities vulnerable to heat across the U.S.  The HVI value was determined using data on:
  • Social-economic and environmental vulnerability (education, poverty, race, lack of green space)
  • Social isolation (living alone, population over 65 living alone)
  • Air conditioning prevalence
  • Pre-existing health conditions (population over 65, diabetes prevalence)
CEHTP collaborated with the UC Berkeley Center and other EPHT funded grantees to validate the HVI with health data.  The analysis looked at the number of hospitalizations and deaths that occurred on days with normal temperature and days with extremely high temperatures, in relation to the HVI value, for metropolitan areas within five states.  CEHTP provided zip-code level hospitalization and mortality data for the analysis.   

Predicting heat vulnerability in California

For all states, higher HVI values were associated with higher hospitalization and mortality rates on both normal days and extremely hot days.  In California, higher HVI values were strongly associated with heat-related illness, acute kidney failure, electrolyte imbalance, and nephritis (i.e., kidney inflammation) on extremely hot days.  Through this collaborative effort, the HVI was found to be a marker for general health vulnerability.  In some states, like California, the HVI also predicted heat vulnerability.  The full article describing this study can be found
 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U38EH000953-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Community Vulnerability to Climate Change
New Climate Change Data and Information
Environmental Health Leadership Summit
Job Opening for GIS Developer

Upcoming CEHTP Presentations


Collaborative on Health and the Environment Cumulative Impacts Working Group Call

US Environmental Protection Agency Region 9

COEH Lela Morris Annual Symposium Natural and Man Made Disasters: The Public Health Response

 

Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038

Email

 
 

Winter 2011

 

Mapping Community Vulnerability to Climate Change

 

 

Impacts of global climate change on community health

 

California is a national leader in innovative programs designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, no matter how quickly we cut our emissions, some climate change will still occur. From sea level rise to an increase in heat waves, climate change will be a new and challenging reality for all Californians.

 

Climate change is nearly always discussed as a global issue, and we often lose sight of the fact that its impacts will be felt in a very real way in our own communities. For example, the following scenarios are predicted to occur:  

 

  • Air quality will worsen, contributing to increased asthma attacks 
  • Heat waves will become more severe and more frequent, putting both people and animals at risk
  • Flooding will worsen, increasing risk of food and water contamination, transmission of infectious diseases, displacement of families and communities, and disruption of basic services
  • Wildfires will increase, degrading air quality and potentially destroying entire neighborhoods

 

Given the wide range of problems that climate change will pose in California, it is essential that we start preparing today.  Identifying communities at greatest risk is a necessary step in efficiently employing limited resources to protect public health.

 

Who will be most affected by climate change?

 

Exactly who will be most affected by climate change is a complex question. Multiple factors may place one community at greater risk, and these factors can shift over time. Factors that influence a community's vulnerability to climate change include:

  • Risk of exposure to environmental impacts of climate change (e.g., living near water increases risks from flooding)
  • Capacity to adapt effectively to a changing environment (e.g., establishing extensive tree canopies in urban neighborhoods increases their ability to withstand heat waves)
  • Sensitivity to climate change events (e.g., elderly people face much graver health risks during a heat wave)

We know that climate change is occurring, but it will not be easy to forecast how these changes will unfold over the coming decades. With so many complexities and limited data available, how do we weigh the risks?

 

CEHTP Project: Screening for vulnerable communities

 

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP), with funding from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, has completed a project to develop and pilot methods to screen for those communities likely to be most vulnerable to a changing climate. A screening tool is not intended to show future impacts with absolute certainty, but rather to highlight areas of greatest concern. The results from the screening can facilitate community discussions and help local officials make difficult planning decisions to help communities prepare for and mitigate the potential impacts of climate change.

 

Unlike previous research that has focused on large geographic regions, such as counties or states, or on a single facet of climate change, such as risks to extreme heat events, the CEHTP screening tool considers a community's risk of exposure, adaptive capacity, and population sensitivity-all at the census tract level. CEHTP's methods incorporate data on predicted sea level rise, flood risk, wildfire risk, proportion of elderly people living alone, household car access, tree canopy coverage, extent of impervious surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, air conditioner ownership, and access to public transit. These methods were adapted from the Environmental Justice Screening Method, developed by Sadd et al.    

 

The screening tool was piloted in two counties likely to face considerable challenges from climate change: Los Angeles and Fresno.

   

Results Show Disproportionate Risks

 

The maps below show the results from the screening tool. The final vulnerability scores are displayed by census tract.  The full summary of the project results are available on the CEHTP website.  View the Climate Change Vulnerability Report for a full description of the methodology and for maps of each dataset used in the screening tool.    

 

Climate Change Vulnerability Map, Los Angeles County

 


Climate Change Vulnerability Map, Fresno County

 

We found that climate change risks are not equal across Fresno and Los Angeles Counties.

  • Geographic disparities: Overall, community vulnerability to climate change tended to be greater in urbanized areas, such as downtown Los Angeles and downtown Fresno.
  • Racial disparities: African Americans and Latinos were more likely to live in-high risk areas compared to Whites.
  • Income disparities: Median income in the most vulnerable areas of Los Angeles County was 40% lower than median income in the least vulnerable areas. In Fresno County, this disparity was even greater, with median income 55% lower in the most vulnerable areas compared to the least vulnerable areas.

Clearly, climate change risks are not equal across the state or within individual counties. With this pilot project, CEHTP has taken a first step in understanding which communities are at the greatest risk from climate change. We hope this work can be expanded statewide so that state and local-level policies, budgets, and regulations can address the rapidly evolving reality of climate change in California. In addition, we hope to have the opportunity to validate our findings by working with communities, community-based organizations, and local health departments to ground-truth our data. We will continue to contribute to climate change science and research, in hopes of preparing our communities for generations to come.

 

Resources

 

To learn more about the impacts of climate change on public health in California, visit:

1 Sadd JL, Pastor M, Morello-Frosch R, Scoggins J, Jesdale B. "Playing it Safe: Assessing Cumulative Impact and Social Vulnerability through an Environmental Justice Screening Method in the South Coast Air Basin, California". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011. 8:1441-1159

New Climate Change Data and Information Available

 

 

CEHTP has reorganized and added new content to our Climate Change  pages, including:

 

Climate change data is now available at the national level. The CDC National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program has added climate change data and information to its tracking portal. To learn more, visit:


 

Tracking Participates in Environmental Health Leadership Summit

 

To address glaring environmental health disparities in Imperial County, and in an effort to increase the awareness and build the capacity of residents, Comité Cívico Del Valle, Inc and the National Latino Research Center have convened annual Environmental Health Leadership (EHL) Summits since 2007.

 

At the 4th annual EHL Summit, which took place on November 16-17, 2011 in Calexico, CEHTP staff gave a demonstration of our web portal, highlighting environmental health data and information available to the public.  

 

We also presented an overview of the status of environmental health in Imperial County to conference attendees, comprised of concerned community residents, government representatives, students, media, and staff from non-governmental organizations and community organizations. In this overview, we presented the top causes of death, incidence rates for certain diseases such as cancer, racial and ethnic disparities, and data specific to children's environmental health in Imperial County.

 

Both the web portal demonstration and the environmental health overview are services that CEHTP provides to support efforts to address environmental health disparities. If you are interested in having CEHTP provide a demonstration, presentation, or training to your organization, please contact us at: tracking@cdph.ca.gov.

 

 

Job Opening for GIS Web Developer
 

CEHTP is seeking a full time Web GIS Developer for our program, located in Richmond, CA.  This person will work closely with CEHTP
interdisciplinary staff to develop dynamic Web & GIS applications for
environmental public health surveillance.  If you are interested in
this position, please see the job description here
 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U38EH000953-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
San Diego County: A Tracking Success Story
Partner News: Biomonitoring and Public Health
Quick Links
More About Us

 
Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 

Upcoming CEHTP Presentations

Imperial County Environmental Health Leadership Summit  

 

California Department of Public Health GIS Day

 

Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup Meeting 

 

 

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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038

Email

 
 

Fall 2011

 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY:

A TRACKING SUCCESS STORY

 

 

Tracking provides important public health services

 

In challenging economic times when public health programs are asked to do more with less, Environmental Health Tracking Programs are a core part of the public health infrastructure, providing data and services to enable other public health programs to conduct their activities more efficiently and effectively.

 

One example is the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) geocoding service, available for use by programs within the California Department of Public Health and their affiliated partners. Geocoding is the process of converting addresses to geographic coordinates, and it is the first step in mapping places of interest (including locations where events, such as disease cases, occur). Maps are important tools for conducting key public health activities like planning, research, and intervention.

 

User profile: Mapping community health in San Diego County

 

San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency's Public Health Services, through its numerous program areas, performs essential functions by working to:

  • Prevent epidemics and the spread of disease
  • Protect against environmental hazards
  • Prevent injuries
  • Promote and encourage healthy behaviors
  • Respond to disasters and assist communities in recovery
  • Assure the quality and accessibility of health services throughout the county

Dr. Isabel Corcos, spatial epidemiologist within Public Health Services, began using the CEHTP geocoding service in 2010.

 

"I am delighted with the service.

I think it's wonderful."

    - Dr. Isabel Corcos, spatial epidemiologist

 

Dr. Corcos worked with Emergency Medical Services and Community Health Statistics Unit of Public Health Services to make maps in response to data requests by programs such as First 5 San Diego. The maps, available to the public, cover a wide variety of community health topics, including:

 

  • Locations of health and medical resources, such as hospitals and clinics, pharmacies, immunization providers, dentists, and skilled nursing facilities
  • Locations of food retailers, such as grocery stores, farmers markets, community gardens, and vendors that accept Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) vouchers or Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards
  • Locations of other community resources, such as affordable housing, transit, schools, libraries, child care centers, recreation centers, and bike routes

food retailers

Map from Food Retailers Atlas - San Diego County, using data geocoded by CEHTP's geocoding service. Created by San Diego County Emergency Medical Services

 

"These maps support efforts to decrease the burden of chronic disease in San Diego County," says Dr. Corcos.

 

Public health impacts in San Diego

 

In this success story, CEHTP provided key support to the San Diego County Public Health Services staff, who in turn used the geocoding service to provide essential information to over 30 public health projects and countless other users. Maps generated using the geocoding service made an impact on:

  • Public health interventions- According to Dr. Corcos, "Geocoded information was used to generate maps and provided groups with the information they needed to conduct their community-based interventions."
  • Planning and resource allocation- Disaster preparedness coordinators, in concert with hospitals and clinics, used maps to plan for emergencies by identifying vulnerable communities and determining how resources must be allocated.
  • Preparing future public health workforce- The geocoding service was used as a learning tool for students and interns, who became part of the public health workforce.

Resources

 

Visit the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency Community Health Statistics Unit website to see maps, community profiles, reports, and other health information for San Diego County

 

Visit the CEHTP website to:

Contact us to arrange for a demonstration of our website, tools, or services.

 

Learn how Tracking has made an impact nationwide:

 

 

CEHTP PARTNER NEWS: BIOMONITORING AND PUBLIC HEALTH

 
 

Growing evidence points to chemical exposure as a significant risk factor for many chronic diseases. Biomonitoring is the process of measuring the amount of a chemical in blood, urine, or other body fluids and tissues. The September issue of Perspectives, a periodical published by CEHTP partner Health Research for Action, discusses the value of biomonitoring in protecting public health.

 

The article "Biomonitoring: The Chemicals Within Us," explains how scientists can use biomonitoring results to help:

  • Investigate possible links between chemicals and disease
  • Identify communities at higher risk from chemical exposures
  • Develop chemical policies and regulatory programs to prevent exposure to harmful chemicals

The authors identify challenges in explaining the uses and limitations of biomonitoring to project participants and the general public, as well as policymakers and other opinion leaders. They offer strategies to improve "biomonitoring literacy," an important way to increase support for public policies that focus on primary prevention.

 

Health Research for Action, a center in the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health, specializes in research, communications, and policy development to reduce health disparities and improve population health.

 

Resources

 

Visit the Health Research for Action website 

 

Learn about Biomonitoring California, the State's biomonitoring program

 

Visit CEHTP's biomonitoring page 

 

 

 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U38EH000953-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Healthy Homes in California
Taking Action: the Healthy Homes Collaborative
Lead in the Environment
What Can You Do?
Quick Links
Request a Training
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 

Upcoming CEHTP Presentations

CDC National Environmental Public Health Tracking Conference, Atlanta, GA

 

International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona, Spain

 

American Planning Association California Conference, Santa Barbara, CA

 

American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C.

 

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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
www.CEHTP.org
 
 

Summer 2011

 

HEALTHY HOMES IN CALIFORNIA

 

 

Recent public health attention has focused on hazards in the home where individuals and families live, work and play.  The Surgeon General defines Healthy Homes as dwellings that are sited, designed, built, renovated, and maintained in ways that support the health of residents. Common hazards include lead, carbon monoxide, mold, pest infestation, contaminated drinking water, injury hazards, and chemicals from cleaning products and pesticide residues. These hazards have been associated with asthma, learning disabilities, birth defects, skin rashes, digestive problems, and even death. Many hazards in the home can be addressed effectively by taking a comprehensive approach with seven basic principles.

 

Home image with blue font 

Who is at Risk?

 

Anyone can encounter hazards in the home, but some groups are at greater risk due to:

  • Housing policies: lack of affordable housing, substandard housing conditions, and illegal evictions
  • Social conditions: limited income, limited education, language barriers, tenuous immigration status, and overcrowded living environments
  • Age and physical status: children, elderly, medically frail, and chronically ill

 

California Initiatives

 

Legislative policy has targeted healthy homes issues, yet effective policy may be compromised by lack of implementation, enforcement, or funding. Below are some examples of legislation in California relating to healthy homes issues.

 

CA Legislation table

At the California Department of Public Health, the California Breathing Asthma Program and the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch created the Healthy Housing Program, which is piloting healthy housing trainings for municipal code enforcers and compiling healthy housing indicators.

 

California Breathing, the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Healthy Homes Collaborative, and many colleagues around the state conducted a strategic planning process which formed the California Healthy Housing Coalition (CHHC). Comprised of non-profit organizations and public agencies, the CHHC provides technical assistance and identifies policy strategies that promote healthy, green and affordable housing in California.  

TAKING ACTION:

THE HEALTHY HOMES COLLABORATIVE

 

 

Community organizations are making major strides with healthy homes issues. Linda Kite, Co-Chair of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program Advisory Group, is the Executive Director of the Healthy Homes Collaborative (HHC), a regional network of community-based organizations committed to eliminating environmental health threats in homes and communities.  The HHC began in 1994 with a focus on lead poisoning and then broadened its reach to include pest infestations, mold, and injury prevention. The HHC's current priorities are 1) sub-standard housing; 2) quality repairs from landlords; and 3) healthy housing issues including mold. 

 

Healthy Homes Collaborative Initiatives

 

Ms. Kite and the HHC are currently pioneering community initiatives which include:

  • Partnering with the Los Angeles Housing Department to conduct outreach and education to teach tenants about the inspection process of proactive code enforcement
  • Monitoring rental buildings to ensure that landlords are making repairs safely and removing hazards in the home
  • Developing evidence-based policies, such as a model for environmentally safe approaches to pest management
  • Ensuring that the statewide California Healthy Homes Coalition efforts and policy decisions include low income communities of color  

 

On the Ground Realities

 

Ms. Kite's work is grounded in the daunting challenges experienced by individuals and families who are disproportionately burdened with hazards in their homes. A common scenario involves families whose children suffer from physical and cognitive impairment caused by lead poisoning from lead-based paint in the home. Unenforced housing codes, lack of affordable housing, and limited advocacy skills can prevent families from living in or seeking healthier homes. Tenants are frequently blamed for lead hazards that are beyond their control and may face serious repercussions, including illegal evictions for reporting hazards and removal of children from parental care. Ms. Kite believes these challenges undermine children's right to healthy physical, cognitive, and emotional development, and hinder their ability to become productive members of society.

 

 

linda

 

 

                           "The housing you grew up in

                            should not interfere with the

                            ability to learn and earn." 

                            Linda Kite, Executive Director, 

                            Healthy Homes Collaborative

                         

LEAD IN THE ENVIRONMENT

 

Lead is one of the most common hazards in the home, and investigating lead poisoning often leads to the discovery of additional hazards.  Lead poisoning is also the most common environmental illness in California children and is preventable. Although the United States has taken many steps to remove sources of lead, it is still present in our environment. 

 

What are sources of lead?

 

The most common source of lead is lead-based paint, often found in homes built before 1978.  Lead can also be found in dust and soil, which may come from emissions from vehicles using leaded gasoline (now banned) as well as emissions from other sources.  

 

Who is at risk for lead poisoning?

 

Children under age six are at greatest risk for lead poisoning, since they often play in areas where lead may be present, and they often place their hands and other objects in their mouths.  Others at risk include low income families, recent immigrants, and individuals who work in construction or in lead related occupations

 

In California, children enrolled in publicly funded health care and those thought to be at risk for lead poisoning are targeted for blood lead testing. An elevated blood lead level is defined as 9.5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (μg/dL) or greater.  There is no known safe level of lead in the blood and even small amounts may cause learning and behavior problems.

 

What does childhood lead poisoning look like in California? 


In partnership with the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, CEHTP provides data on blood lead levels by county on the Lead Poisoning Data Query. In 2009, there were about 640,000 children under age six who were tested for lead poisoning in California. Of those tested, about 2,400 (0.4%) had an elevated blood lead level. See map below.

 

Lead map per Joe

 

 

CEHTP also provides data on the following risk factors for lead poisoning: age of housing and percent of children less than five living in poverty.

Side by side image 8.18.11 

 

Using Data for Public Health Action

 

Data on the CEHTP website are useful for programs interested in childhood lead poisoning in their county.  In 2009, the Nevada County Local Health Department found that 460 children under the age of six had their blood lead level tested in their county.  They found that 1.5 % of those tested, or 7 children, had elevated blood lead levels (see below).  They also found that 10.4% of those tested (48 children) were considered exposed to lead (4.5 - 9.4 ug/dL).  Using data from CEHTP and other sources, Nevada County's First 5 Commission will identify trends over time, unmet needs, and gaps in services for children under age six to inform their 3-year planning process for Nevada County.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

 

 

Visit the CEHTP website to learn more about environmental and health data and information related to healthy homes:

 

Access other information by visiting the following sites:

 

Attend an upcoming CDPH training for practitioners/inspectors entitled Essentials of Healthy Homes: Practitioners Course:

  • September 13, 2011 (Community Health Workers only). El Centro/Imperial Valley. - To register click here   
  • September 21-22, 2011. Visalia. -To register, click here.
  • September 27-28, 2011. San Diego. -To register click here.

 

For more information about CEHTP, please visit our website at www.cehtp.org

 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U38EH000953-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Environmental Health Disparities in Imperial County
Taking Action: Comité Cívico del Valle
CEHTP: Providing Data on Health Disparities
Perchlorate and Biomonitoring in Imperial County
What Can You Do?
Quick Links
Request a Presentation
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
 
 

Spring 2011

 

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DISPARITIES IN CALIFORNIA:

A LOOK AT IMPERIAL COUNTY
 
 

Low-income communities and communities of color often bear a disproportionate burden of environmental hazards and poor health outcomes. In this newsletter, we explore the striking environmental health disparities that exist in Imperial County, where data and collective community action provide a roadmap for other counties facing similar environmental health challenges.

 

Environmental health disparities occur when a community's health is influenced by the: (1) social environment, including limited income and education; (2) built environment, such as inadequate public transportation and substandard housing conditions; and 3) physical environment, including poor air quality and toxic waste. 

 

Imperial County is one of California's most valuable agricultural resources for alfalfa, lettuce, sugar beets, carrots, and many other types of produce. Spanning almost 5,000 square miles, Imperial County is located in the southeastern part of the state, and features an expansive valley where air pollution and excessive heat are major issues. Imperial County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state (25% in January 2011) and has the highest poverty rate in California (23%). It is also home to a strong and mobilized community comprised predominantly of Latino residents.

 

 

Map of Imperial County

 

Imperial County is burdened with a wide range of environmental health disparities, which include:

  • poor air quality from agricultural dust; burning of agricultural, livestock, and other waste; and other factors such as pesticide drift
  • high rates of asthma and associated emergency department visits and hospitalizations
  • high levels of pesticide use, which at certain exposure levels may lead to cancer or other illnesses
  • poor drinking water quality from high levels of livestock waste
  • one of the most contaminated rivers in the nation (the New River),which has been linked to various health problems
  • close proximity of some of these environmental hazards to schools and residential communities 

  

 
TAKING ACTION: Comité Cívico del Valle  
  

Working to address environmental health disparities in Imperial County is Comité Cívico del Valle, a pioneering community-based organization established in 1987 by a farm worker concerned with the health and well-being of Imperial County residents. Through community organizing, advocacy, and innovative partnerships, Comité Cívico implements environmental health initiatives to address air quality, river contamination, pesticide use, and other issues. Below are some of Comité Cívico's recent activities:

 

· Partnering with the California Department of Public Health to:

- Conduct an asthma prevalence study to identify rates of asthma among children. Results showed 20% of children had been diagnosed with asthma. National estimates are 14%

- Examine local residents' urine, water, and produce samples for a hazardous chemical called perchlorate (see article).

- Develop and implement an air quality program among Imperial County schools to educate the community on the health effects of poor air quality.

 

· Providing leadership on the Imperial County Environmental Justice Task Force, a coalition of community and government stakeholders addressing environmental health disparities
 

· Implementing the Imperial Valley Action Network (IVAN), a community-driven problem-solving and enforcement tool used to report and address any environmental health concerns in communities across Imperial County

 

 

CEHTP: Providing Data on Environmental Health Disparities  
 

Data can support community efforts and validate community concerns. The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) has developed a web portal that provides environmental and health data, information, and tools as a resource for organizations like Comité Cívico. The following environmental health disparities in Imperial County were identified using the CEHTP web portal:

 

Asthma in Imperial County

 

Asthma has been an ongoing environmental health concern in Imperial County. Limited access to health care and exposure to environmental factors can result in hospitalizations or visits to the emergency department (ED). School-aged children (5-17) living in Imperial County have consistently higher rates of asthma hospitalizations and ED visits than children statewide. In 2009, the asthma hospitalization and ED visit rates in Imperial County were both at least three times the rate for the entire state. 

 

The map and chart below are from the Asthma Data Query on the CEHTP portal:

 

 

 

Air Pollution in Imperial County

 

Imperial County residents are living with high levels of air pollution from sources that include agricultural dust and burning of agricultural and other waste. The larger air pollution particles, or particulate matter, are known as PM10, and are linked to asthma, bronchitis and other lung diseases. In 2006, Imperial County had 250 days out of the year that exceeded California standard PM10 levels, compared to only 47 days out of the year for the whole state. The chart below is from the Air Quality Data Query on the CEHTP web portal:

 

 

Pesticide Use in Imperial County

 

Because of the proximity of agricultural fields to communities and particularly to schools, as one study has shown, pesticide use is a concern for Imperial County residents. The pesticide chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxin that is known to affect children's neurocognitive development. The map below is from the Agricultural Pesticide Mapping Tool on the CEHTP portal and shows levels of chlorpyrifos commonly applied on alfalfa crops in Imperial County. The places in red indicate high levels of pesticide use. 

 

 

 PERCHLORATE AND BIOMONITORING IN IMPERIAL COUNTY  
 
Perchlorate and Health
 

Perchlorate is a chemical that can harm the thyroid at high doses. This may cause health problems in adults and harm to fetuses and infants. Perchlorate is both naturally occurring and man-made, and it can be found in food and drinking water throughout the U.S. Perchlorate has been a concern for communities located in the Lower Colorado River region - which includes Imperial County - due to ground and surface water contamination originating upstream at a former perchlorate manufacturing site in Nevada. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Nevada are currently overseeing clean-up operations of that site.

 

Biomonitoring study results

 

CEHTP and our partners recently published results from a biomonitoring study that examined levels of perchlorate in the urine, drinking water, and locally grown produce of 31 participants in Imperial County. Key findings include:

  • The average (geometric mean) perchlorate dose for the study group was 70% higher than that measured by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a representative sample of the U.S. population
  • Three participants exceeded the acceptable daily dose (benchmark dose) calculated by the California Environmental Protection Agency
  • Two out of 66 water samples had detectable levels of perchlorate; however, both samples were below the California drinking water limit (Maximum Contaminant Level) for perchlorate
  • Of the 79 samples of locally grown produce collected, perchlorate levels ranged from non-detectable to 1816 parts per billion (ppb); most had less than 10 ppb of perchlorate

 

At the end of the study, participants received their individual results and attended a meeting to learn about the overall study results.  They were also able to meet with a local physician to discuss their results and have their thyroid health assessed.

 

This study was conducted in partnership with the following organizations: the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, CDC, Comité Cívico del Valle, Commonweal, and the Imperial County Public Health Department. To learn more about the study, view the published results online.

 

EPA begins regulating perchlorate

 

In 2009, based on peer-review of the current science and public commentary, the U.S. EPA decided to regulate perchlorate under the Safe Drinking Water Act.  This reverses the 2008 preliminary decision not to regulate perchlorate.  This decision starts a process for developing a national primary drinking water regulation.  Please visit EPA's website for more information.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

 
 

 

· Visit the CEHTP web portal to learn more about environmental and health data, information, and tools available for your county

 

· Request free technical assistance and/or a tailored presentation on how to use the portal.  Contact us by phone at 510-620-3038 or email for more information.

  

· Access other environmental and health data resources, such as:

oCalifornia Air Resources Board (CARB)

oCalifornia Breathing Program

 

 

For more information about CEHTP, please visit our website at www.cehtp.org

 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000186-05 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Asthma in California
Partner Profile: California Breathing
Birth Defects, Carbon Monoxide and Childhood Lead Poisoning
Quick Links
Request a Presentation
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
 
 

Winter 2010  
ASTHMA IN CALIFORNIA  
 

Asthma is a disease that affects the lungs and leads to difficulties in breathing. It is a growing public health concern, with 5 million Californians and over 20 million Americans diagnosed as of 2008. Asthma is known to be related to indoor and outdoor environmental factors that can exacerbate symptoms or trigger attacks.

 

How is asthma monitored in California? 

 

Understanding the burden of asthma in California is challenging, due to difficulties in measuring the disease in a population.  The Asthma Surveillance Pyramid (see image below) is a model developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to describe the spectrum of asthma indicators, or ways to measure the asthma burden. Data are more complete and available for more extreme asthma cases - those who go to the emergency department (ED), those who are admitted to the hospital, and those who die due to asthma. However, data on office visits are not as readily available. Also, asthma prevalence is estimated through population-based surveys, and thus is not comprehensive. To learn more about the asthma pyramid click here .

asthma pyramid
Image modified from www.cdc.gov

Hospitalizations and ED visits may also indicate poorly managed asthma cases, as well as cases where patients may not have access to primary health care as a consequence of being uninsured or underinsured.

 

Even though asthma data are more readily available at the state or county-level, data at the neighborhood-level are often more useful for local public health action.  Currently, local level data are not readily available due to many limitations including methodological issues and concerns about confidentiality.  The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP), in partnership with California Breathing (see below), is exploring the availability and utility of local level asthma data.

 

What is available on the CEHTP portal? 

 

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) provides data and information on asthma and other environmental health topics on its web portal.  The query system displays county-level asthma hospitalization and emergency department visit rates and counts in interactive maps, tables, and charts.

 

You can view:

  • Annual state and county asthma rates and counts over time
  • Asthma rates by age, sex, and race/ ethnicity
  • Crude, age-adjusted, and modeled rates

Please click here to go to the asthma data query.

 

By providing a quick way to look at asthma surveillance data and information, CEHTP aims to empower users to incorporate asthma data and information in their research, communication, advocacy, and policy efforts. 

 

Identifying Health Disparities

 

Different segments of the population bear a disproportionate burden of asthma.  These disparities are significant by race and ethnicity, income, gender, age and geographic location.  The asthma data on the CEHTP portal allows the user to look at these disparities.  For example, in 2009 in Alameda County, among children less than five years of age, those who were Non-Hispanic African American had an asthma ED visit rate of 514.7 per 10,000 children [click here for data], compared to 86.4 per 10,000 [click here for data] among children who were Non-Hispanic White.  That's nearly a 6-fold increase in risk, which can have significant implications for asthma prevention and service delivery efforts.

PARTNER PROFILE  
 
CALIFORNIA BREATHING


California Breathing (CB), an asthma program of the California Department of Public Health, collects and analyzes asthma surveillance data. CB uses data to identify populations at risk across the state in order to target its interventions and provide a resource for others doing asthma prevention and intervention work. "We often provide data to back up a suspected problem" said Meredith Milet, CB Epidemiologist. "We think of ourselves as reaching people in the field who are advocating for asthma services and need access to tools and epidemiologic information."  CB provides the public with multiple forms of asthma data and information for California.  CB releases a Burden of Asthma Report  every three years, along with county profiles every two years. 

  

Partnership with Tracking

  

California Breathing and CEHTP have an ongoing collaborative relationship in their efforts to make asthma data and information easily accessible and available to the public. A CB representative participates on CEHTP's Tracking Implementation Advisory Group, providing guidance and support for the portal.

 

"We have a fantastic relationship with CEHTP. CEHTP provides asthma data in an accessible online format, so we are able to focus our work on building the capacity of our stakeholders to utilize that data effectively for public health action," said Deanna Rossi, CB Associate Director, and member of the CEHTP Advisory Group.    

 

Using Data for Public Health Action 

 

Since 2004, CB has provided grants to non-profit organizations and local governments to increase their capacity to address asthma disparities at a local level.  CB requests that grant applicants review asthma prevalence, emergency department, and hospitalization data for their county and compare these rates with the state averages. CB also uses asthma data to prioritize funding for organizations in counties that have higher asthma rates.

 

Most of CB's grantees focus on using asthma data for public health action, primarily through trainings and policy work.  One such grantee is the Shasta County Health & Human Services Agency.  In 2008, they designed an intervention in senior mobile home parks to promote policies around smoke-free common areas. Shasta County Health & Human Services Agency surveyed 10 percent of the residents in selected mobile home parks. The data collected were used to make policy recommendations and are still used in a continued effort to educate the community about secondhand smoke and its impact on asthma and other respiratory diseases.   

  

Resources 

   

California Breathing 

 

The Burden of Asthma in California: A Surveillance Report

  

County Asthma Profiles 

 

California Environmental Health Tracking Program     

      

 
NEW DATA AVAILABLE ON CEHTP WEB PORTAL  

Check out our content on Birth Defects, Childhood Lead and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

 

The California Environmental Health Tracking Web Portal now has data and information on three new environmental health content areas:

Childhood Lead Poisoning:

o       Find out who's most at risk for lead poisoning, and which counties have the highest rates of children with elevated blood lead levels among children screened

 

Birth Defects:

o       Learn about 12 birth defects and the five-year incidence rates in Central Valley Counties

 

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning:

o       Compare the rates of hospitalizations and emergency department visits due to CO poisoning across the state

To see these new content areas or for more information about CEHTP, please visit our website at www.cehtp.org

 

 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000186-05 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Partnerships in Environmental Health Tracking
Partner Highlights
Quick Links
Request a Presentation
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
 
 

Summer-Fall 2010  
PARTNERSHIPS IN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH TRACKING
 
The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) is a statewide network whose goal is to provide environmental and health data to drive public health action. While CEHTP operates within the California Department of Public Health, we recognize the importance of forming non-governmental partnerships to influence our vision, direction, communication, and outreach.
 
Holding Hands image

Non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, and academia, as well as local, state, and national government organizations, help develop the potential of the data that we provide to influence public health policy and action.


"Partnerships with non-governmental and
academic organizations have been essential
to the success of CEHTP.  Without these
collaborations, we would be unable to get
feedback on our website content, data, and
services, and we would be unable to
leverage resources to accomplish important
environmental health projects."

- Paul English, Principal Investigator,
  CEHTP
 

These partnerships play diverse roles, providing CEHTP with the input and guidance necessary to effectively contribute to the  implementation of critical environmental health research, programs, and policies.  Some examples of partnerships in different areas of our work are highlighted below.

 
Tracking Partnerships
PARTNER HIGHLIGHTS  
Partnership for Direction, Planning, and Sustainability: Tracking Implementation Advisory Group
 
To assist in overall program planning, direction, and sustainability, CEHTP formed a statewide Tracking Implementation Advisory Group. Somewhat unique within state government, the Advisory Group consists of representatives from a diverse group of stakeholders, including community-based organizations, other non-governmental organizations, academia, and federal, state, and local agencies. 

 

These advisors have been instrumental in setting the direction of CEHTP, specifically by participating in an extensive strategic planning process where the Advisory Group and program staff collectively created a 5-year vision and strategic directions for Tracking in California. From that plan, the Advisory Group has continued to provide overall guidance and recommendations to CEHTP during our semiannual face-to-face meetings.

 

Since CEHTP exists to provide data, tools, and services for our stakeholders to use for environmental health action, having input and guidance from these stakeholders at each step as we develop our program is critical to ensure CEHTP stays useful and relevant.
 

 
Partnership for Methods Development: Breast Cancer Mapping 
 

CEHTP is currently working on a project, funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program, to gather input from stakeholders to develop methods for mapping breast cancer to help locate vulnerable communities, understand demographic risk factors, target prevention/intervention efforts, and generate hypotheses about breast cancer.

 

The Breast Cancer Mapping Project engages a diverse statewide Advisory Group consisting of nearly 20 breast cancer advocacy and environmental justice organizations, researchers, and local public health departments. CEHTP provides key statistical expertise, geocoding services, and facilitation of the Advisory Group as this group develops recommendations for mapping breast cancer data at the community level.

 

 

"When a collaboration among state public health agencies and non-governmental organizations is

done well, it can provide a great opportunity to

leverage population-level data in a way that

addresses real-life concerns.  Such a collaboration

is exemplified by the Breast Cancer Mapping

Project, which has brought together an incredible

team to look at the complex societal and

environmental concerns that must be considered

in a project to map cases of breast cancer."

 

- Connie Engel, Program Coordinator,

  Breast Cancer Fund

The California Cancer Registry is a critical project partner, providing annual breast cancer data that will be mapped according to the methods agreed upon by the Advisory Group. This truly collaborative project incorporates key input from community and public health stakeholders to develop a mapping strategy that may ultimately be used by a statewide agency such as the California Cancer Registry. 



Partnership for Research: Pesticides and Birth Defects 

 
CEHTP has recently participated in a research project led by the March of Dimes to investigate genetic and environmental interactions in connection to hypospadias, a fairly common birth defect in male infants. In this study, CEHTP has assisted by geocoding patient data for the study, then linking this patient data with data about pesticide usage, to provide an analysis of pesticide exposure in mothers living in the Central Valley of California around the time of conception. 

 

CEHTP is able to provide the technical assistance with the data linkage as well as assistance with study design and analysis. Similarly, CEHTP has recently received several requests to partner with various academic institutes on other data linkage projects. In these cases, the geocoding, traffic, and pesticide linkage tools developed by CEHTP are enabling researchers to readily link patient health data to information about exposure to potential environmental factors, such as pesticides or air pollution.

 

For more information about CEHTP, please visit our website at www.cehtp.org

 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000186-05 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Geocoding for Public Health
Upcoming Geocoding Webinar
Grants to Reduce Asthma Disparities
Quick Links
Request a Presentation
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interested in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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Join Our Mailing List
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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
 
 

Spring 2010  
Geocoding -- An Essential Web Tool Used to Strengthen Public Health
 
 
Have you ever used an internet mapping site like Google Maps or MapQuest to map an address? If so, you have already geocoded! Geocoding is the process of finding the geographic coordinates associated with a specific location, such as a street address. Geocoding is the first step in mapping places where events of interest, such as deaths or disease cases, occur. Geocoding is also useful in linking environmental and health data for research and surveillance. An increasing number of public health agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, researchers, and policy makers are using geocoding tools to put data on maps.
 
Why Geocode?

According to Bill Davenhall of ESRI, a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software company, a patient's geographic (or place) history is as relevant to personal health as genetics and lifestyle. One reason for including geography is that where people live can affect their exposure to environmental pollutants. In public health practice, location information is included in much of the data we use. Once geocoded and displayed on a map, these records can convey information beyond their simple location, such as spatial and temporal patterns of disease case distribution, proximity of healthcare programs to the communities needing their services, and the relationships of health outcomes to environmental hazards.
 
There is a growing need to understand morbidity and mortality patterns at a local level, which geocoded data enables. For example, geocoding preterm births and mapping them relative to major highways allows researchers to study the relationship between these events and traffic pollution. Simply plotting clinics and hospitals on a computer map allows a variety of activities, including studying how far patients have to travel to receive care or developing emergency response plans should a major hospital shut down due to earthquake damage. Converting addresses into geographic coordinates and putting them on a digital map opens up a world of possibilities to advance public health research, policy and advocacy.
 
"In nearly every case, address-level public health datasets should be geocoded in order to be mapped using a GIS," says Craig Wolff.
 
For Craig Wolff, IT/GIS Manager at the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP), there is no doubt that geocoding is essential and valuable. But if geocoding data is so useful, why has it not been more broadly used? Despite the value of geocoded data, challenges remain that prevent more agencies and organizations from utilizing them.
 
Filling the Geocoding Gap - CEHTP's Geocoding Tools

There are a number of reasons why a program may not have geocoded data. Some programs may lack expertise or resources for geocoding. Others are concerned that geocoding health data would breach confidentiality. Others may not realize how useful geocoded data could be to their program and their data users. Another major hurdle to widespread use of geocoding is that it tends to be expensive.

Therefore, CEHTP has developed several centralized geocoding tools, which are secured through encryption across servers in order to preserve data confidentiality and are available at no cost to its partners. One of CEHTP's goals in providing geocoding tools is to encourage and assist organizations and agencies to geocode during the data collection or reporting process. Agencies can then take the geocoded data and map them themselves using a software program like ArcGIS or Google Earth. This allows agency staff to analyze and visualize the information in a more meaningful way.
 
Since 2006, over 50 different programs and organizations have used the suite of CEHTP geocoding tools. Michael Byrne, the former California State Geographic Information Officer and eServices Manager for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), used the CEHTP geocoding tools on a daily basis.
Click here to access CEHTP's Geocoding Tool:
 
Geocoding for Public Health
CEHTP's geocoding tools are used by CDPH staff, partner organizations and collaborating programs including academic and research institutes.  Currently, there are plans to transition this tool to become a part of CDPH's department-wide GIS Services.
Here are some examples of how CDPH programs have used the CEHTP geocoding tools:
  • The Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control Branch used the geocoding tool to map cases of gonorrhea and develop census tract-level maps of rates for all 58 counties in California. By identifying the top 5% of census tracts with the most cases, they could then work with local health departments to develop targeted interventions.
  • The geocoding tool was used to map licensed environmental laboratories as part of an emergency preparedness exercise.  In the case of an emergency, such as an earthquake or a chemical spill, this would enable agencies to identify laboratories closest to the incident and capable of analyzing relevant specimens.
  • The Cancer Detection Section used the geocoding tool to map locations providing breast and cervical screening services. This information aided their program policy discussions about service delivery.
 
 
If you are interested in using our Geocoding Tool and would like more information, please contact Craig Wolff: Craig.Wolff@cdph.ca.gov.
 
UPCOMING GEOCODING WEBINAR!  
Register Now!

 

To learn more about the features and uses of CEHTP's geocoding tools, register for our upcoming webinar scheduled on Tuesday, May 25th from 10-11am (Pacific Time) by clicking on the link below:

 

Click here to register for geocoding webinar

 
California Breathing Releases New Round of Strategic Plan Implementation Grants  
 
California Breathing is pleased to invite grant proposals aimed at reducing asthma disparities in communities across California, by focusing on childcare environments and outdoor environments.  Please go to www.californiabreathing.org for the application and work plan documents.  The same application and work plan forms can be used for both RFPs.  Proposals are due by June 3, 2010.

If you have questions about either of these RFPs, please contact Bindi Gandhi at bindi.gandhi@cdph.ca.gov
 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000186-04 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Pesticide Web Mapping
Quick Links
Request a Presentation
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interesting in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
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California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
 
 

Winter 2009  
Pesticide Mapping Tool Identifies Communities at Risk for Pesticide Exposure  
 

Community residents in California's many agricultural regions have long been concerned with pesticides that are routinely applied to fields located near their homes, schools, or workplaces.  Some of these pesticides are known to cause harmful health outcomes, while the health effects of other pesticides are still unknown.  To address this concern, the Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA), a non-governmental organization working to reduce the use of hazardous pesticides world wide, partners with these communities to conduct research on pesticide exposure and develop strategies for reducing exposure to harmful pesticides.  PANNA trains community members to conduct air monitoring to assess the levels of specific pesticides in the air around homes and schools, providing an indicator of what community residents might be exposed to.  

 
Helping the Public To Use Pesticide Data  
 

To identify communities at high risk for pesticide exposure, PANNA has been using a web-based agricultural pesticide use mapping tool developed by the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP).  One of the principal goals of CEHTP is to provide useful and accessible information on environmental hazards, exposures, and environmentally-related health outcomes to support our stakeholders' efforts to improve public health in California. One way that we do this is by developing web-based tools and services that enhance data and our ability to visualize it.  CEHTP's pesticide mapping tool takes pesticide application data from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and displays the data in an interactive, dynamic map.  This allows users to see the types and amounts of pesticides applied at the neighborhood level over time.

 

"I use the pesticide mapping tool on a weekly basis to identify which communities are being exposed to pesticides.  I also refer concerned community members to this service so that they can see for themselves what is in their neighborhood."

- Karl Tupper, Pesticide Action Network

                    of North America

Potential users of this tool include non-governmental organizations working on pesticide issues, concerned community members, researchers, county departments of public health, and governmental decision- and policy-makers.  Users of the pesticide mapping tool can pan to different parts of the state and zoom down to the neighborhood level to view agricultural pesticide use. The user is also able to refine the data by specifying the year, crop type, pesticide or pesticide group, and geographic unit.  This tool can be used by anyone interested in exploring the use of agricultural pesticides in or near their community.

 

 

Click here to view agricultural pesticide web mapping tool  

 

With the pesticide mapping tool, PANNA is able to identify communities throughout California where pesticides are being applied.  "This tool saves us time, money and effort," says Karl Tupper, Staff Scientist at PANNA.  "Without having the pesticide mapping tool readily available on the internet, we would be limited to using other tools which do not have the same high resolution."  Recently Tupper has been working on a biomonitoring project in partnership with CEHTP, where he used the pesticide mapping tool to identify a community exposed to chlorpyrifos in Tulare County.  More information about PANNA can be found on their website:  http://www.panna.org/ 

 

Concern About Pesticide Use Featured on Public Radio

 

Northern California's public radio station, KQED, recently featured a two-part series on the growing concern of pesticide use.  PANNA's Karl Tupper was featured regarding the air monitoring he conducts with communities.  CEHTP Principal Investigator Paul English was interviewed for the story, and the pesticide mapping tool is listed as a resource on the KQED website. 

 

Click here to listen to the radio show. 

 

The pesticide mapping tool is currently available on the CEHTP web portal.  CEHTP staff is in the process of making improvements to the interface and developing a user-guide and other documentation to make the service more accessible.  In the meantime, we welcome you to explore the pesticide mapping tool using the existing interface, which we hope is  intuitive to users familiar with Google Maps.  Later this year, CEHTP plans to host a webinar on the features and uses of the pesticide mapping tool.  Details will be included in our next newsletter.  If you are interested in using the pesticide mapping tool and would like more information, please contact Craig Wolff: Craig.Wolff@cdph.ca.gov.

 

 

 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000186-04 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
Tracking Public Health Impacts of Climate Change
Mapping Breast Cancer in California
Quick Links
Request a Presentation
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interesting in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Contact Us

California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
www.CEHTP.org

Fall 2009  
Tracking The Public Health Impacts of Climate Change  
 
What does health have to do with climate change?

When we hear about climate change in the media, we often hear about heat waves, droughts, and flooding.  We don't hear as much about how climate change will affect our health.  Changes to our environment through climate change will have serious direct and indirect health consequences. 
 
Predicted Health Impacts of Climate Change:
·         Heat illness and death
·         Increased infectious diseases
·         Illness from contaminated water or food supplies
·         Health effects of possible increased pesticide use
·         Allergies
·         Respiratory illness
·         Mental illness
·         Global disruption, including increased conflicts
          and food shortages

State and local health departments will play a key role in preventing and responding to these health impacts.  It is essential that they join in current climate change prevention and adaptation planning efforts.
 
Tracking and Climate Change
 
The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) is working on a number of these climate change efforts.
 
In 2007, we participated in a collaborative to produce a report entitled Public Health Impacts of Climate Change in California: Community Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Strategies Report: Heat-Related Illness and Mortality. This report described and mapped the communities in California that are most vulnerable to heat waves and outlined recommendations for public health actions.   View/Download this report here

 climate change heat deaths

CEHTP Principal Investigator Dr. Paul English is involved in various climate change initiatives nationally and internationally. He is co-chair of the State Environmental Health Indicators Collaborative for Climate Change, a project of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and is a World Health Organization temporary advisor contributing to a systematic review of health impacts of climate change.
 
CEHTP staff recently hosted a climate change workshop at the annual meeting of the International Society Of Environmental Epidemiologists in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Helene Margolis, Assistant Adjunct Professor at UC Davis and member of CEHTP, organized the daylong workshop, which generated recommendations for adaptation and mitigation strategies for three major climate change public health issues:  food security, water security, and heat illness. 
 
Finally CEHTP staff are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a new climate change work group of the National Environmental Health Tracking Program.  The work group is charged with identifying measures of climate change that should be tracked by all states.  CEHTP has already started a climate change section on its website.  View CEHTP's climate change web pages here.
 
New Climate Change Projects

CEHTP is involved in two newly-funded climate change projects.  One project, funded by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), will assess the capacity of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to respond to the public health impacts of climate change.  Dr. Paul English is principal investigator for this project, which will support climate-change related activities already in progress within CDPH.  California is one of five states to receive this one-year grant. 
 
The second project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the federal government's economic stimulus package, will research methods for predicting magnitudes of heat waves and their public health impacts in California.  CEHTP will contribute GIS and health education expertise to the project.  This project is a collaboration between UC Davis, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and CEHTP.  Dr. Helene Margolis is principal investigator of this two-year grant.    
 
 
Mapping Breast Cancer in California  
 
The need for breast cancer maps
 
Breast cancer advocates, community members, and public health practitioners in California often want to know which areas of the state have higher-than-expected rates of breast cancer.  Maps of breast cancer rates can be useful for informing a number of public health activities, such as identifying vulnerable populations, allocating prevention and treatment resources, and generating hypotheses about risk factors. 

However, maps are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to learning about the causes of breast cancer.  While there are suspected links between breast cancer and the environment, maps are neither adequate nor appropriate for determining the nature of such links. For instance, because of the long latency period of many cancers, it can be misleading to conclude that there is any association between the disease and current residence, because of the likelihood that the residence will have changed during this latency period.
 
The problem with maps: randomness and resolution
 
Breast cancer maps are often available at the county level.  However these maps cannot show if there are communities within those counties that are disproportionately affected by breast cancer.  It would be more informative to see maps at the community level, but concerns about patient confidentiality combined with limitations in common mapping methods mean that mapping at the sub-county level is rarely attempted. 
 
Another limitation of the techniques ordinarily used to map breast cancer is due to the fact that there will always be areas with elevated rates of cancer due entirely to chance. Maps produced in this way cannot distinguish between underlying disease trends and areas with high rates due to chance.  This limitation is problematic, for example when trying to determine where to allocate resources for future prevention efforts. 
 
Tracking receives grant to improve mapping techniques

 
Fortunately, there are statistical methods to reduce the display of this random "noise", improve geographic resolution, and give a better estimate of likely breast cancer trends.  The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) recently received a two-year grant from the California Breast Cancer Research Program of the University of California to use advanced statistical techniques to assess breast cancer mapping methods and develop more accurate and useful breast cancer maps for California.  Eric Roberts, MD, PhD is the principal investigator for the project. 

In line with CEHTP's previous projects, this innovative breast cancer mapping approach will be established using key guidance and input from an Advisory Group composed of stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, including breast cancer advocates and local public health providers. This group will assist CEHTP in developing guidelines for breast cancer mapping models that will best serve the needs of all stakeholders.

CLICK HERE to view some data on breast cancer in California available on the CEHTP web portal through our "data query."
 
 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000186-04 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH WITH BETTER INFORMATION
In This Issue
New Web Portal Provides Data for California
National Tracking Network Launched
Quick Links
Request a Presentation
CEHTP offers in-person and web presentations about our web portal. 

If your organization is interesting in learning more about the web portal and how to use it, please contact us. 
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Contact Us

California Environmental Health Tracking Program


California Department of Public Health

850 Marina Bay Pkwy
Building P, 3rd Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 620-3038
Email
www.CEHTP.org

Summer 2009  
New Web Portal Provides Data For California
 

Californians now have easier access to important data about their environment and health conditions related to the environment.

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) has launched the beta version of its new web portal at www.CEHTP.org.

This portal provides information and data about environmental health topics including air quality, asthma, birth outcomes, cancer, climate change, heart attacks, pesticides, and traffic.


Easier access and improved visualization

On the portal, users can explore a range of information.

Current functions:
  • query systems that quickly generate maps, tables, and charts
  • time trends by county
  • tools and services to help search and view data, such as our agricultural pesticide mapping tool
  • metadata (data about the data)
  • background information and links to other resources by topic area
Coming soon:
  • maps at the sub-county level for some topic areas
  • overviews of key environmental health and epidemiology concepts
  • instructions and tutorials for the web tools and services
Although still in its early stages, the portal will be a site where different users can access a variety of environmental health data, all in one location.

map of asthma hospitalization rates, spatially-modeled
Map result of a data query for spatially-modeled rates of asthma hospitalizations.  Spatial modeling estimates rates for counties where data are sparse.


A state and national effort


CEHTP is developing the portal as part of a national initiative to track environmental health, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Our statewide advisory group and data partners have provided important guidance during the development process.
 
This site is intended for use by community groups, non-governmental organizations, policymakers, state and local public health and environmental agencies, academia, and the public.
 
We invite you to visit our web portal.  We will continue to develop and improve the information and functions available on the site, and we welcome your comments and feedback.

 >>  Visit our new portal at www.CEHTP.org
 
 National Tracking Network Launched  

The National Environmental Health Tracking Network launched on July 7, 2009.  This web portal, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, integrates health and environmental data from a number of state and national sources.
CDC Tracking Program logo
Highlights of the national network include: 
  • standardized data across contributing states
  • information by location
  • data query for generating maps, tables, and charts
CDC currently funds 16 states, including California, and one local health department to build and implement their own tracking networks.  The state and local tracking networks contribute data to the national Tracking Network.    


>>  Visit CDC's Tracking Network at www.cdc.gov/ephtracking
 
>>  See "CDC's Tracking Network: Working Toward a Healthier Planet for Healthier People"  (YouTube video)
 
 
This newsletter is supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000186-03 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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