Health Studies

The National Center for Environmental Health’s Health Studies program conducts rapid epidemiologic investigations in response to outbreaks that are believed to have environmental causes and responds to natural and technologic disasters.
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New! Toxicological Outbreak Investigation Training and Toolkit is now available! Click to learn the knowledge and skills need to investigate a toxicological outbreak.


Worried about drought in your community?

See our new guide: Preparing for the Health Effects of Drought

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See our new resource: Death Scene Investigation after Natural Disasters

Provides checklists and forms for death scene investigators.

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Not all toxins are obvious: See our success stories and highlights of work with U.S. poison centers

National Poison Prevention Week: March 18-24


See our new online radiation emergency training

Training about radiation emergency preparedness

CASPER interactive map - USA map showing CASPER locations

Interactive CASPERs map offers state-specific disaster epi information

Learn from others with CASPER experiences

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See our new primer on disaster surveillance

Maximize your skills with this new publication

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Drinking water quality has a major influence on public health. Even in the United States, clean water is not always assured. About 13.1 million households in the United States obtain drinking water from private wells, while others obtain their drinking water from local springs, livestock water tanks, or from rainwater captured in cisterns. Little is known about the quality of water from these unregulated sources and the potential impact on human health

Each day, people everywhere could be exposed to chemicals or radiation —in their food, in the water they drink, and in the air they breathe. Some exposures are the result of accidents, disasters, or intentional attempts to cause harm. CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) Health Studies (HS) specializes in studying the public health consequences of these exposures.

A disaster is the serious disruption of the functioning of society, causing widespread human, material or environmental losses that exceed the local capacity to respond and calls for external assistance. Natural and man-made disasters can occur without warning; keeping them from turning into major public health emergencies requires careful planning

Buttke takes a sample from a goat herd. Photo by CDC staff

Our Work in the United States and Around the World

Page last reviewed: September 24, 2019