Why is an EPHT Network needed?
The environment plays an important role in human development and health. Researchers have linked exposures to some environmental hazards with specific diseases. Prior to the development of EPHT, no systems existed at the state or national level to track many of the exposures and health effects that may be related to environmental hazards. In addition, in most cases, existing environmental hazard, exposure, and disease tracking systems are not linked together. Because existing systems are not linked, it is difficult to study and monitor relationships among hazards, exposures, and health effects.
Environmental public health tracking is a type of surveillance. It is a way of incorporating data for analysis and reporting. Iowa’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network is a website that brings together data concerning some health and environmental problems. The goal of this network is to provide information to help improve where we live, work, and play.
The Iowa Tracking Network is part of CDC's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. CDC provides funds to 23 state and local health departments to develop local tracking networks. These networks feed into the National Tracking Network.