New Hampshire Tracking Program
The New Hampshire (NH) Tracking Program will help policymakers, health professionals, scientists, researchers and others to:
- Advance research on possible linkages between environmental hazards and disease;
- Monitor information about environmental hazards and disease trends;
- Track advances in health status and environmental improvements; and
- Use data to develop, implement, and evaluate regulatory and public health actions to prevent or control environment-related diseases.
- New Hampshire has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country. Anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Powassan virus are other tickborne diseases that have been documented in NH.
- New Hampshire is known as the Granite State due to its granite bedrock, but that also means there is a high risk of having arsenic in groundwater. NH has the highest rate of bladder cancer cases in the nation—37% higher than the national rate, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the leading causes of bladder cancer in the state is exposure to arsenic in private drinking water wells.
- About 4 out of 10 (44%) of New Hampshire households get their drinking water from private wells that are not regulated and do not require testing by state law. Unhealthy levels of contaminants, such as arsenic, radon, and uranium, are common in many private wells and have been linked to cancer. Contamination can come from natural sources, like bedrock, or from man-made sources, like lawn care products, agricultural run-off, or plumbing fixtures.
Community Health Outlook Reports: Exploring Health and Environment at Town Level: The NH Tracking Program recognized a need for public health data at the community level to assist with program outreach and community health assessments. After geocoding the NH public health datasets to the census tract level, the NH Tracking Program created individual community snapshotsexternal icon summarizing 35 health-related indicators for 199 communities across the state. The chosen indicators represent community characteristics, risk factors, health behaviors, and health outcomes, thus reflecting a suite of conditions that impact health. Data are summarized to highlight geographic, demographic, and time trends.
Assessing Exposure to Contaminated Drinking Water: Working with other state agencies, the NH Tracking Program responded to communities affected by contaminated private drinking water wells and public drinking water systems. The Tracking Program interpreted perfluorochemical (PFC) blood tests for individuals who lived on, worked at, or attended childcare at the Pease Tradeport industrial community. They also provided per- and ployfluoroalkyl (PFAS) blood tests for residents in Southern NH communities where PFAS substances contaminated private drinking water wells, as well as in the Merrimack Village District (MVD) public water system. Tracking staff analyzed results to determine the extent of exposure, including evaluating the relationship between water consumption, residential history, and the PFC levels found in individuals’ blood. NH Tracking displays aggregate (not individual) blood test resultsexternal icon from each testing location.
Training sessions: The NH Tracking Program provides training on the NH Tracking siteexternal icon and Social Vulnerability Index Toolexternal icon at local regional public health network locations throughout the year.