Environmental Public Health Indicators
How are environmental public health indicators used?
“Environmental public health indicators (EPHIs) can be used to assess our health
status or risk as it relates to our environment. They may be used to assess baseline
status and trends, track program goals and objectives, and build core surveillance
capacity in state and local agencies. The best indicators are those that reliably
predict the relationship between human health and the environment, are routinely
collected, and have well-accepted definitions and data collection standards.” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
In Washington State, a set of local public health indicators was developed by the
Public Health Improvement Partnership’s subcommittee on Public Health Indicators. These
indicators can be used for a variety of purposes—from directing public health decisions,
to developing programs, to framing future policy. Adding indicators of environmental
factors that affect the health status of populations can help provide a more complete
picture of a community’s overall health.
What are common sources of environmental public health indicators?
Indicators from federal, state, and county sources can often be tailored to fit
local circumstances. In addition, non-governmental organizations have designed lists
of indicators and measures that address specific health and socioeconomic topics.
See the lists below for examples of environmental public health indicator sets that
Washington citizens and public health practitioners are using.
Federal and State Sources
County and Local Sources