Health Tracking

Webinar Series: An Introduction to Legal Epidemiology


Legal Epidemiology, Part 1:  A Tool for Advancing from Data to Policy   

Date: Wednesday, May 10th

Time: 1:00 - 2:30PM EDT

In this webinar, speakers from CDC’s Public Health Law Program will define and characterize legal epidemiology, and describe how it can be used as a tool when advancing from data to policy.


  1. Montrece Ransom, JD, MPH, Public Health Law Program, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, CDC  
  2. Tara Ramanathan, JD, MPH, Public Health Law Program, Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, CDC 
  3. Jennifer Black, JDc, Legal Intern, Public Health Law Program, CDC 

Register for Webinar


Legal Epidemiology, Part 2: A Tool for Evaluating the Impact of Environmental Public Health Laws  

Date: Wednesday, June 14th

Time: 1:00 - 2:30PM EDT

This webinar will offer an abbreviated training in legal epi principles, and will provide examples of legal epidemiology as applied to environmental public health laws. Speakers will highlight variations in state law provisions related environmental public health issues and describe related legal epidemiology methods.

Speakers: TBD


Legal Epidemiology, Part 3: A Tool for Addressing Health in All Policies  

Date: Wednesday, August 16th

Time: 1:00 - 2:30PM EDT

This webinar will offer a primer on the Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach as a strategy for addressing complex factors that influence health and equity. Speakers will describe how a HiAP approach can help to ensure that policy decisions have a neutral or beneficial impact on health and equity outcomes. Speakers will also demonstrate how legal epidemiology can be used as a tool in tracking the growth of HiAP laws, policies and program across the country and identify current trends in HiAP implementation. 

Speakers: TBD


EH Topics: 

Legal Epidemiology

Laws and policies are essential to environmental health issues. Legal epidemiology is an emerging field that blends the practice of developing and implementing health laws with the scientific evaluation of how laws can affect health. Legal epidemiology is defined as: The scientific study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution and prevention of disease and injury. 

Legal epidemiological research can cover a wide variety of environmental health law topics such as:

  • Laws limiting exposures to disease-causing substances
  • Laws that regulate the use and disposal of harmful chemicals and materials
  • Laws creating parks and other community spaces
  • Laws establishing new frameworks like Health in All Policies (HiAP)

Local environmental health professionals, in particular, should be aware of legal epidemiological tools because it is harder for them to look across jurisdictions for best practices, due to lack of current information on law and policy. Using legal epidemiology can help with these barriers. Local environmental health professionals who conduct surveillance on their own laws and policies can use that information for evaluation and future program planning.

Webinar Series: An Introduction to Legal Epidemiology

NEHA, in collaboration with CDC's Public Health Law Program, is hosting a 3-part webinar series that examines the use of legal epidemiology to address environmental health. The first webinar will serve as an introduction to legal epidemiology and a discussion of the relationship between environmental health and policy. The second webinar will serve as legal epidemiology training for environmental health practitioners. The third webinar will offer a primer on the Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach and demonstrate how legal epidemiology can be used as a tool in tracking the growth of HiAP laws, policies and programs across the country and identifying current trends.

Learn More About Webinar Series

EH Topics: 

EPH Tracking Virtual Conference

Environmental Public Health Tracking Virtual Conference The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Environmental Health Tracking Branch (Tracking Branch) to host a virtual conference to 1) raise awareness and knowledge about the environment’s role in asthma and other chronic diseases and 2) highlight collaboration opportunities between state leaders, decision makers and practitioners working in environmental health and chronic disease prevention.

Informatics Resources


Environmental and public health informatics is an emerging field that focuses on standardized data collection, sharing, and use. Data is transformed into information that is then used to better inform and develop programs.

By moving towards the wider adoption and use of informatics systems, we can expect data-informed decision making that will improve population health.

Local, state, and federal agencies collect environmental health data that may not always be routinely analyzed or used to inform public health initiatives, especially at smaller local-level agencies. Environmental health professionals collect data through inspections, complaint investigations, and community interactions.

The incorporation of this data with other public health data has the potential to inform programs in ways that have not yet existed.

Imagine a physician taking a patient’s home environment into account when making a diagnosis. Or, imagine using an app to easily assess the safety of an aquatic facility, restaurant, or body art studio. Environmental health professionals and data play an important role in creating a full picture that is necessary to best develop public health programs.

Emerging Issues

Environmental health and public health programs, as well as health care facilities, have the potential of making an even greater impact on community health through an increase in data collection and sharing. Opportunities include:

  • increased advocacy for resources
  • establishment of data standards
  • easier sharing of data internally and across agencies
  • development of tools and trainings 

One of the most visible ways informatics is being used in environmental health is in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network and Program.

Learn more about Informatics: 

​View Additional Resources

EH Topics: 

Advances in Causal Understanding

New molecular and bioinformatic approaches have advanced understanding of how molecular pathways are affected by exposure and the molecular networks involved in disease. However, these advances are often not yet deemed sufficient to establish causality for public health risk assessments; regulators still rely primarily on traditional apical endpoints, such as those endpoints observed in animal studies.

Tracking, Technology, Data and Climate Change

Tracking, Technology, Data and Climate Change

Health tracking, technology and data play a huge role in curbing the effects of climate change. By providing resources to local health departments on the current state of climate change in any given region, environmental health professionals can move forward with the best techniques to continue fighting climate change. NEHA offers a number of courses on how to better use technology to help the environmental health profession.

Additional Resources:

Climate and Health

Climate Change and Environmental/Public Health

Climate change impacts health and is a significant threat. According to the Lancet Commission, “climate change could be the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” The health effects from climate change will affect most populations especially those most vulnerable: children, elderly, those with chronic health issues, and those living in poverty. 

Additional Resources: