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Data Resources

One-Stop Shop for Environmental Public Health Data

This Web site provides a reference list of nationally funded data systems that have a relationship to environmental public health. This list is not meant to be a comprehensive inventory. Rather, it highlights the major data systems with a national scope where public health and environmental data can be directly downloaded from the Internet.

Health Data

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Biomonitoring Data


Environmental Data

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Air Data

  • Acid Rain Emissions Tracking System
    The overall goal of the Acid Rain Program is to achieve significant environmental and public health benefits through reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the primary causes of acid rain. Under the Acid Rain Program, each unit must continuously measure and record its emissions of S02, NOx, and CO2, as well as volumetric flow and opacity. In most cases, a continuous emission monitoring system must be used. There are provisions for initial equipment certification procedures, periodic quality assurance and quality control procedures, recordkeeping and reporting, and procedures for filling in missing data periods. Units report hourly emissions data to EPA on a quarterly basis. This data is then recorded in the Emissions Tracking System, which serves as a repository of emissions data for the utility industry.

  • AirData
    The AirData website gives you access to air quality data collected at outdoor monitors across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands. The data comes primarily from the AQS (Air Quality System) database.

  • National Emission Inventory (NEI) Data
    EPA prepares a national emission inventory with input from numerous state and local air agencies. These data are used for air dispersion modeling, regional strategy development, regulation setting, air toxics risk assessment, and tracking trends in emissions over time. Criteria pollutant emissions data for 1985 through 1998 are available in the National Emission Trends (NET) database. Hazardous air pollutant emissions data are available for 1993 and 1996 in the National Toxics Inventory (NTI) database. For 1999, criteria and HAP emissions data are being prepared in a more integrated fashion in the National Emission Inventory, which will take the place of the NET and the NTI.

EPA Multimedia Data

EPA Toxics Data

EPA Water Data

EPA Ambient Water Data

  • Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH)
    Under the BEACH program, a survey of state and local agencies that monitor water quality at beaches was conducted. The information received was compiled and is listed by beach on the Beach Watch Web site. Although the database includes a significant number of coastal and Great Lakes beaches, it does not include all U.S. beaches. Only the beaches whose monitoring officials responded to our survey are included. This survey will be conducted each year and as new information becomes available, it will be added to the Beach Watch Web site.
  • Watershed Assessment, Tracking & Environmental Results (WATERS)
    WATERS is an integrated information system for the nation's surface waters. The EPA Office of Water has various programs that store data in associated databases. These databases are separately managed with little coordination among them. Under WATERS, the program databases are connected to a larger framework.
  • STORET (short for STOrage and RETrieval)
    EPA maintains two data management systems containing water quality information for the nation's waters: the Legacy Data Center (LDC), and STORET. The LDC is a static, archived database and STORET is an operational system actively being populated with water-quality data. The LDC contains historical water-quality data dating back to the early part of the 20th century and collected up to the end of 1998. STORET contains data collected beginning in 1999, along with older data that has been properly documented and migrated from the LDC. Both systems contain raw biological, chemical, and physical data on surface and ground water collected by federal, state and local agencies, Indian Tribes, volunteer groups, academics, and others. All 50 states, territories, and jurisdictions of the U.S. are represented in these systems.

EPA Drinking Water Data

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Flood Hazard Mapping (Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map [DFIRM] Database)
    A standard DFIRM database has been designed to facilitate DFIRM production. The new FEMA Geographic Information System (GIS) databases will store the digital data used in the map production process, as well as the backup engineering data for the floodplain studies. These databases will provide a standard, systematic method for FEMA to distribute comprehensive details of its flood studies to the public in a digital format.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Total Diet Study (TDS)
    The TDS, sometimes called the Market Basket Study, is an ongoing FDA program that determines levels of various contaminants and nutrients in foods. Since its inception in 1961 as a program to monitor for radioactive contamination of foods following atmospheric nuclear testing, TDS has grown to encompass additional radionuclides, residues of pesticides, industrial chemicals, toxic and nutritional elements, and folate. In all instances, analyses have been performed on foods that are prepared as they would be consumed (table-ready), so the final results can be used to provide a realistic measure of the dietary intake of these analytes.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA)

    The NAWQA provides data about water chemistry, hydrology, land use, stream habitat, and aquatic life for major river basins and aquifers.
  • National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN)
    The NASQAN program provides ongoing characterization of the concentrations and flux of sediment and chemicals in the Nation's largest rivers.
  • National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN)
    The NADP/NTN is a nationwide network of precipitation monitoring sites. The purpose of the network is to collect data on the chemistry of precipitation for monitoring of geographical and temporal long-term trends. The precipitation at each station is collected weekly according to strict clean-handling procedures. It is then sent to the Central Analytical Laboratory where it is analyzed for hydrogen (acidity as pH), sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, chloride, and base cations (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium).
  • National Water Information System
    The USGS investigates the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, and movement of surface and underground waters and disseminates the data to the public, state and local governments, public and private utilities, and other federal agencies involved with managing our water resources. These pages provide access to water-resources data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
  • National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse
    The USGS node of the National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse is a component of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. It provides a pathway to find information about geospatial or spatially referenced data available from USGS. The USGS node actually encompasses a distributed set of sites organized on the basis of the USGS's four principal data themes. The first, Geography, offers the familiar USGS topographic maps and other geographic products that have long been associated with USGS. These products typically are of general use across many disciplines for basemaps and other purposes. As Geographic Information Systems have come to play an increasingly important role in science, however, the biology, geology, and water disciplines also have produced important geographic data sets related to their themes.

Other Data

Census Bureau

Query Engines

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
    The MEPS is a vital resource designed to continually provide policymakers, health care administrators, businesses, and others with timely, comprehensive information about health care use and costs in the United States, and to improve the accuracy of their economic projections. MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of private health insurance held by and available to the U.S. population.

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
    The BRFSS is a telephone survey conducted by all state health departments, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam with assistance from CDC. The BRFSS is the largest continuously conducted telephone health survey in the world. States use BRFSS data to track critical health problems and to develop and evaluate public health programs. The BRFSS is the primary source of information on the health-related behaviors of adults in this country. States use standard procedures to collect data through monthly telephone interviews with adults 18 or older. BRFSS interviewers ask questions related to behaviors that are associated with preventable chronic diseases, injuries, and infectious diseases.
  • Cancer Control Planet
    This PLANET portal is sponsored by CDC, NCI and other agencies/organizations. The PLANET portal provides access to data and resources that can help planners, program staff, and researchers to design, implement and evaluate evidence-based cancer control programs. It also provides access to Web-based resources that can assist in:
    1. Assessing the cancer and/or risk factor burden within a given state.
    2. Identifying potential partner organizations that may already be working with high-risk populations.
    3. Understanding the current research findings and recommendations.
    4. Accessing and downloading evidence-based programs and products.
    5. Finding guidelines for planning and evaluation.
  • CDC Wonder
    WONDER provides a single point of access to a wide variety of reports and numeric public health data.
  • TheDataWeb
    TheDataWeb is a network of online data libraries. Topics include census data, economic data, health data, income and unemployment data, population data, labor data, cancer data, crime and transportation data, family dynamics, and vital statistics data.
  • Work Related Injury Statistics Query System (Work-RISQS)
    Work-RISQS provides a Web-based public access query system for obtaining national estimates (number of cases) and rates (number of cases per hours worked) for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Users may interactively query based on demographic characteristics, nature of injury/illness, and incident circumstances for the years 1998, 1999, and 2000. Additional data-years will be added in future updates.
  • Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)
    WISQARS is the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control's interactive, online database that provides customized injury-related mortality data and nonfatal injury data useful for research and for making informed public health decisions.


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  • Page last reviewed: August 22, 2014
  • Page last updated: August 22, 2014 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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