SUB-PROBLEMS INCLUDING LEADING TO IMPAIRMENT AND BEST PRACTICES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND PROTECTION EMERGENCIES, DISASTERS, AND SPECIAL ISSUES
Prevention, Control, and Mitigation of Injuries and Illness while Protecting the Environment
The primary objective of the environmental health and protection programs is to protect the health of the community while also protecting the environment. This is accomplished by carrying out the traditional role of the environmental health staff of investigation and control of a variety of licensed facilities, the prevention or minimizing of the spread of disease, and the prevention and minimizing of injuries. In addition, the professionals help promote public awareness by providing instructions for the public on how to avoid disease and injury, providing technical assistance to reduce hazards or threats of hazards, and promoting good environmental health practices in emergency facilities. In addition, environmental protection specialists also conduct studies of contamination of air, water, and land and work together with the environmental health professionals in resolving these issues, which also helps mitigate injuries to and illnesses of people.
Specific environmental health emergency programs and/or specific environmental protection programs include evaluations of air, land, and water to determine levels of contamination and how best to mitigate these circumstances; foodborne disease outbreak investigation; waterborne disease outbreak investigation; ensuring safe, potable water; ensuring a safe food supply in the absence of refrigeration and by condemning and having food destroyed that has been subjected to microbial and fungal growth, spoilage, smoke, chemicals, and contaminated water; ensuring that portable toilets are put in areas where they will not contaminate water but still will be available to the population where sewerage systems have been disrupted; supervision in mass care facilities of food, water, housing, waste disposal, etc.; control and reduction of insects and rodents to prevent disease and control nuisances; supervision of removal of solid waste to solid waste facilities and emergency dump sites; determining if hazardous waste generators and facilities are affected by the disaster and, if so, supervising safe removal of the substances to secure sites; supervising the removal of household hazardous waste to secure sites; evaluating and determining if healthcare facilities are damaged and are a danger to patients and staff; evaluating the removal of infectious wastes from healthcare facilities; evaluating the disposal of medical/infectious waste; evaluating chemical releases that may endanger the health and safety of the community; determining if a radiological release is hazardous to the community; evaluating residences to determine if they are safe for human habitation; evaluating worker safety and personal protective equipment to determine if the employees involved in studies being conducted as well as in removal of hazardous materials are protected properly from environmental situations; evaluation and control of outbreaks of emerging diseases; etc.