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This information is provided for historical purposes only. For updated CDC performance planning information, see the Performance and Accountability page on this website.

XII. Environmental and Occupational Health

FY 2000 Performance Plan - Revised Final FY 1999 Performance Plan

Environmental Health Laboratory Sciences-Biomonitoring

To protect public health from death and disease that result from exposure to toxic substances, CDC and other health officials critically need accurate and reliable human exposure information. Potential exposure to over 10 million different compounds is possible, but scant information exists about a number of these substances or the sequelae associated with exposure to them. Health officials cannot determine the seriousness of environmental incidents without accurate and valid human exposure information. With poor exposure information, health officials can declare dangerous situations as safe--threatening the health of the public, or declare safe situations as dangerous--causing undue alarm and wasting large sums of money on needless remediation efforts.

Performance Objectives and Measures

Objective: Increase by 25% the number of toxic substances that can be measured by CDC's environmental health laboratory by the year 2002 from a baseline of 200 in 1997, so state-of-the-art laboratory methods can be employed to prevent avoidable environmental disease.

Performance Measure:

FY Baseline FY 1999 Appropriated FY 2000 Estimate
Capability to assay 200 toxic substances (1997). In 1999, human exposure to 6 additional toxic substances will be measured. In 2000, human exposure to 12-14 additional toxic substances will be measured (inclusive of the 6 in FY 1999).

While these performance measures are not outcome measures in terms of being a final health outcome, they are important outcomes in terms of addressing a major public health gap. The current inability to effectively measure toxic substances in humans limits our ability to deal effectively with environmental emergencies and compromises the results of studies that are looking for causes of environmental diseases. The availability of these methods for assessing human exposure would enable CDC to better respond to emergency situations when people are sick or dying from unknown causes, effectively implement and evaluate environmental disease prevention programs and measure trends in exposure of the U. S. population to toxic substances. Without these methods, we will be unable to effectively prevent environmental disease. Furthermore, CDC is unique in its ability to develop and effectively apply these methods to the study of environmental disease. This level of performance represents a substantial technical and scientific effort, but is achievable if funds are made available. The development of new methods requires certification under the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Act (CLIA) and data systems are already in place to monitor CDC's performance under CLIA. As a result, the cost for the data collection related to these measures is minimal.

Verification/Validation of Performance Measures: The accomplishment of this performance measure will be verified through the Environmental Health Laboratory's strategic planning process.

Links to DHHS Strategic Plan

This performance measure is related to DHHS Goal 1: Reduce major threats to the health and productivity of all Americans and DHHS Goal 5: Improve public health systems.

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