Our association supports the advancement of environmental health professionals for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all. In addition to maintaining high standards of practice and testing for our credentialing programs, we provide training and resources for continuing education through courses and textbooks, hosting an annual conference, fostering networking and career growth, and publishing the peer-reviewed Journal of Environmental Health.
We are governed by a 14-member board of directors and benefit from various committees and technical advisors who serve as subject matter experts. Our association employs approximately 50 professionals dedicated to providing quality programs to our members.
Drawing on the original effort that led to our creation, the association today stands as a strong professional society with more than 6,000 members across the nation. Our mission, "To build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce" is as relevant today as it was when the organization was founded.
Advancement is defined in terms of both education and motivation. The basis for our activities is the belief that the professional who is educated and motivated will make the greatest contribution to the healthful environmental goals which we all seek. Accordingly, great emphasis is placed on providing educational and motivational opportunities. At our conferences, for example, tremendous attention is paid to developing a quality educational program that not only imparts knowledge to the attendee but, also, through the very quality of the presentations, inspires the attendee to do more upon returning to their job.
Healthy Environments. Protected Communities. Empowered Communities.
We have identified three key priority areas from which to focus our work. They are:
- Constituent Insight: Understand the needs and perceptions of our professional network in a manner that sustainably advances our mission.
- Thought Leadership: Deliver timely, essential, and influential products, services, and communications.
- Organizational Excellence: Provide an effective, efficient, and supportive organization that is easy to understand, easy to navigate, and easy to work with.
Our association was first incorporated in California in 1937. The pioneers of the association believed that a standard was necessary if the environmental health field was to grow and take shape as a legitimate and widely respected profession.
This standard, which has come to be known as the Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian credential, signifies that an environmental health professional has mastered a body of knowledge (which is verified through the passing of an examination), and has acquired sufficient experience, to satisfactorily perform work responsibilities in the environmental health field.
Defining Environmental Health
Environmental health is the science and practice of preventing human injury and illness and promoting well-being by
- identifying and evaluating environmental sources and hazardous agents and;
- limiting exposures to hazardous physical, chemical, and biological agents in air, water, soil, food, and other environmental media or settings that may adversely affect human health.
Defining Environmental Health Professional
An environmental health professional or specialist is a practitioner with appropriate academic education and training and registration or certification to
- investigate, sample, measure, and assess hazardous environmental agents in various environmental media and settings;
- recommend and apply protective interventions that control hazards to health;
- develop, promote, and enforce guidelines, policies, laws, and regulations;
- develop and provide health communications and educational materials;
- manage and lead environmental health units within organizations;
- perform systems analysis;
- engage community members to understand, address, and resolve problems;
- review construction and land use plans and make recommendations;
- interpret research utilizing science and evidence to understand the relationship between health and environment; and
- interpret data and prepare technical summaries and reports.