Practical Approach to Best Practices Developed and Utilized by Experts in Their Fields

The practical approach, which is a less rigorous form of evidence-based practices, is most frequently used in environmental health programs. Typically, the Best Practices have already been established by various federal, state, and local agencies; professional associations; and industry.

Best Practices are science-based principles and practical applications of techniques (art of the field) which may help prevent, resolve, or mitigate hazardous situations and existing or potential problems of disease and injury. They may consist of planning procedures, supervision and management procedures, educational approaches, operational and/or maintenance procedures, and/or legal controls. They may exist individually or as part of a system. In any case, priority should be given to those Best Practices which most readily and economically solve, reduce, or prevent a problem and avoid collateral damage from the impact of their use. Typically, Best Practices may be found in several different categories including:

  • • Gathering and analyzing data in a scientific manner to determine the nature and scope of the problem
  • • Information and education
  • • Ordinances and regulations
  • • Elimination of dangerous and hazardous situations
  • • Preventing and controlling the sources of potential outbreaks of acute disease, injury, and contamination of the environment through the efforts of the appropriate environmental systems and/or the enforcement of the appropriate rules, regulations, and laws
  • • Preventing and controlling the underlying factors which contribute to the occurrence of chronic disease which may have been of environmental origin or is enhanced by environmental contaminants
  • • Making necessary program changes to control the problem
  • • Using various prevention and treatment measures
  • • Developing continued maintenance programs
  • • Re-evaluating program content and results and redirecting efforts as necessary

Best Practices and programs described include but are not limited to food protection, food technology, insect control, rodent control, pesticides, lead poisoning, housing and communities, the indoor environment, hospital, school, and nursing home environments, recreational environment, occupational environment, air quality, solid and hazardous waste, private and public water supplies, swimming areas, plumbing, private and public sewage disposal and soils, water pollution and water quality, terrorism, disasters, environmental health emergencies, children’s environmental health issues, injury control, and so on.

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