News and Features

This page provides links to this year’s EHS spotlight and news articles.

Quick links to past EHS spotlight and news articles by year: 2018, 20172016, 20152014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

2019 News Items

Health Advisory Notice on Hot Tub Displays and Legionella Risk – Learn how public health can respond to hot tub Legionella concerns, with recommendations for environmental and public health practitioners and hot tub owners/operators.

Hot Tub Displays and Legionella Risk: Guidance for Environmental and Public Health Practitioners – Learn how to minimize risk for Legionella exposure from hot tub displays at temporary events (for example, fairs, home and garden shows, conventions).

Environmental Health Shelter Assessments: Using Tools to Protect Occupants after Disastersexternal icon – CDC’s Kelsey McDavid and Miguel Cruz highlight the updated Shelter Assessment Tool and how it and other resources can be used to help environmental health professionals to evaluate and document potential health threats in shelters.

Tips and Tools to Get Your Environmental Health Message Acrossexternal iconexternal icon – Communicators from CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health discuss simple ways to improve communication with the public and other audiences.

Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease through a New Learning Opportunity: A Training on Legionella Water Management Programsexternal icon – CDC’s Candis Hunter, Shawn McMullen, and Chris Edens and guest authors discuss a new training on creating building water management plans to prevent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.

September Is National Food Safety Month – Celebrate National Food Safety Month with these resources for food safety programs! Check out our environmental assessment training and surveillance system, along with additional resources from CDC and partners.

Food Safety: Environmental Health Data Matterexternal icon – CDC’s LCDR Beth Wittry and guest author James Mack (Wisconsin Department of Agriculture) discuss how CDC is working to help food safety programs conduct and report environmental assessments.

The Role of Local Environmental Health Departments in Tick-Related Activities and Services: Key Findings pdf icon[PDF – 168 KB]external icon – Discover what local environmental health professionals across the country are doing in tick control, surveillance, and public education in a new assessment from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals (VCEHP) – Learn about using integrated pest management to address public health pests and vectors that spread Zika virus and other pathogens. Available for CE credits through the National Environmental Health Association.

Learn more with these Tick Surveillance and Lyme Disease Toolkits created by CDC and NACCHO – The tick surveillance toolkitexternal icon provides information on surveillance of tick species and pathogens found in them. The toolkit on Lyme Diseaseexternal icon includes educational slide sets and handouts.

In-Person Operations Training, Anniston, AL, November 10-15, 2019external icon – CDC’s Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) Operations course provides participants with the operations-level knowledge and skills needed to respond to incidents of natural- or human-caused disaster and to use appropriate protocols and equipment to achieve mission objectives.

Online Awareness Training – The EHTER Awareness Level course addresses the role of environmental health responders in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies and disasters.

Emergency Water Supply Planning Guide for Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities – Develop an Emergency Water Supply Plan to prepare for, respond to, and recover from an interruption of the normal water supply in health facilities.

Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters – Use these key messages to develop products for diverse audiences before, during, and after a hurricane, flood, or similar disaster.

Natural Disasters and Severe Weather – Explore more resources on severe weather and disasters like earthquakes, extreme heat, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and more.

Did You Miss CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds on Legionnaires’ Disease? – Check out the archived presentation and learn how to prevent the disease with effective water management programs.

Are You Involved in Water Safety for Buildings? – Learn to create a water management program to reduce risk for Legionnaires’ disease.

Looking for More Legionella Prevention Resources? – Explore more CDC resources for environmental health professionals.

Insights into the NIOSH Emergency Preparedness and Response Programexternal icon – CDC’s Kerton R. Victory, Jill Shugart, Sherry Burrer, Chad H. Dowell, and Lisa J. Delaney talk about NIOSH training for public health professionals and emergency responders.

Safe Water Program Improvement e-Learning Series (SWPI) – Take CDC’s training for safer well water through stronger public health programs using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.

Tribal Drinking Water Program Improvement – Learn how CDC and partners worked to build tribal drinking water program capacity using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.

New Environmental Health Workforce Assessment Results – Check out key findings from Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision, and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health (UNCOVER EH) and learn more about the assessment.

Collaborative Response to Natural Disaster Events Threatening Private Well Water Quality in a New Mexico Communityexternal icon – Guest authors Rose Galbraith, Nicholas Sharp, and Deyonne Sandoval from the New Mexico Department of Health share how the New Mexico Private Wells Program proactively used program partnerships to reduce public health risk during local environmental events.

Good Pool Chemistry Keeps Swimming Healthy and Safeexternal icon – CDC’s Michele Hlavsa, CDR Joe Laco, and Vince Hill discuss pool chemical injuries and how they can be prevented.

Read the MMWR Article on Pool Chemical Injuries – Pool chemicals can cause injuries if mishandled. Read about 10 years of data on pool chemical injuries that led to emergency department visits.

Address Specific Swimmer Health Issues with Mini-MAHCs – Specific public health issues addressed in the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) are often spread across multiple chapters. Mini-MAHCs aggregate the code and annex language into more concise documents related to a health issue.

Use CDC’s Inspection Tools to Reduce Risk of Illness from Pools – CDC’s model inspection tools protect public health from illness and injury. Tools include the Aquatic Facility Inspection Report and Cheat Sheet, Aquatic Inspector App for iPad, and MAHC Cross-reference Guide for the Inspection Report

Download CDC’s 2019 Healthy & Safe Swimming Week Toolkit – The Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Partner Toolkit 2019 is now available! The toolkit is a guide to help public health professionals engage their target audiences and increase awareness of this annual observance. Share the toolkit to help everyone stay safe in the water this summer and all year-round!

Why Investigators Did or Did Not Do Environmental Assessments for Restaurant Outbreaks – Learn more in our review of more than 400 outbreaks reported to CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS).

Find Out How Restaurants Can Be Ready for Customers with Food Allergies – Dining out can be difficult for people with food allergies because they must rely on restaurant staff to properly prepare their allergen-free meals. Learn more in our blog.

Read Our Studies on Food Allergies and Restaurants – Understanding how restaurants address food allergies can help to reduce the risk of food allergic reactions in restaurants. Learn more: How Restaurants Address Food Allergies and Food Allergies: Knowledge and Attitudes of Restaurant Managers and Staff.

Download Posters for Restaurant Staff and Managers – The Rhode Island Department of Health, a partner in our Environmental Health Specialists Network, designed these posters for restaurant staff and managers. Find out What You Need To Know pdf icon[PDF – 87 KB]external icon about food allergies and How To Recognize and Respond pdf icon[PDF – 606 KB]external icon to food allergy reactions.

Learn Why Environmental Health Services Are So Important – Watch this video to learn how environmental health services work to protect public health. Also available in Spanish!

Fill Performance Gaps with Our Resources Organized By Essential Service – This list provides our resources indexed by the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services. Find tools to help your program fill performance gaps and contribute to larger performance improvement efforts such as voluntary public health accreditation.

Legionnaires’ Disease at a Hotel in Missouri, 2015: The Importance of Environmental Health Expertise in Understanding Water Systemsexternal icon – Read how a comprehensive environmental assessment of a hotel’s water systems proved crucial to identifying maintenance issues in an outbreak.

Exposure to Contaminants Among Private Well Users in North Carolina: Enhancing the Role of Public Healthexternal icon – CDC’s Max Zarate-Bermudez and grantee Crystal Lee Pow Jackson discuss how the North Carolina Department of Health worked to improve services to private well users.

Outbreak Investigations of Restaurants, 2014–2016 – Learn about outbreaks and gaps we found in retail food safety practices and outbreak investigations reported to CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS).

Learn About Environmental Assessments with Our Training – Take our free, self-paced training on the role of environmental assessments in the broader context of outbreak investigations and the food safety system.

Improve Your Food Safety Program with NEARS – Use CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System to capture environmental assessment data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations to improve your food safety programs.

Tick Talk: Keeping Environmental Health Up With Current Trendsexternal icon – CDC’s Christine Vanover and Andrew Ruiz discuss two federal initiatives that could enhance vector control services in the nation and CDC resources and tools for environmental health professionals and programs.

Safe Water for Community Health Updateexternal icon – CDC’s Shannon McClenahan and Brian Hubbard share examples of how grantees increased well sampling, quantified risk, enhanced and enforced policies, and developed and improved educational and outreach programs for private wells and other federally unregulated drinking water sources and systems.

Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease: A Training on Legionella Water Management Programs (PreventLD Training) – Learn to create a water management program to reduce risk for Legionnaires’ disease.

Earlier news items are available on the News and Features Archive page.

Page last reviewed: July 16, 2019