Health Tracking

Legal Epidemiology Webinar Series, Part 2

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

Please register at

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.

Legal Epidemiology Webinar Series, Part 1

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

Please register at

Date: Wednesday, May 10th

Time: 1:00 - 2:30PM EDT

This activity has been approved for 1.5 NEHA Continuing Education hours.

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.

*Note: Webinar audio will be broadcast through attendees' computer speakers.

Childhood Lead Poisoning

A Hidden Problem: Lead Poisoned Children in the United States

A recent study by the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, a program of the Public Health Institute takes a close look at the surveillance and reporting of lead poisoning within the United States. This study takes a fresh look at childhood lead poisoning and the assumption that all children are tested. Learn more at

Lead Poisoned Children in United States Infographic


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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

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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

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