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CDC’s Tracking Network in Action

Tracking in Action: Vermont and WashingtonTake a look at how tracking programs across the country are making important, lasting contributions to the health of their communities.

CDC's Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network) connects people with vital public health information. It has data and information that can be used for a wide variety of environmental and public health efforts. You can see how diverse the Tracking Network's applications can be by checking out two of the latest videos in the "Tracking in Action" series.

Tracking Blue-green Algae in Vermont

The Vermont Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, in partnership with the CDC Climate and Health Program, developed a Web-based tool to provide up-to-date information on blue-green algae conditions in the state. Data are collected by a network of trained volunteers, approved by a site moderator, and added to the Vermont Health Department's blue-green algae Webs map.

Before the Web-based monitoring system was put into place, it took health department staff up to a week to publish the data. Algal blooms can appear or disappear very quickly, making week-old data of little use for someone planning a weekend trip to the lake. Now the public can see algae conditions at more than 60 different locations shortly after the volunteers submit their reports.

Washington Tracking Program's Radon Risk Maps Prompts Testing, Protects Lives

Radon is a gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

Radon can seep up from the ground and become trapped in buildings. Testing is the only way to know if radon levels are high in a particular home or office. The EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon in buildings that have a radon level at or above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air.

The Washington Tracking Program worked with state geologists to develop a new, more detailed radon exposure risk map for the state. The new maps showed previously unknown radon risk areas, such as around the Puget Sound. It also showed many high to moderate risk areas where no testing had been performed in the past.

You can stay informed about new additions to the Tracking Network, like these videos, by joining our list-serv.

  • Page last reviewed: December 7, 2015
  • Page last updated: December 7, 2015
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