November 2018: Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
November 2018 Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 81, Number 4)
Editor's Note: NEHA strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column on environmental health services from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
In these columns, authors from CDC's Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, as well as guest authors, will share insights and information about environmental health programs, trends, issues, and resources. The conclusions of these columns are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC.
Direct From CDC/EHS: Now What? A Tool to Help Commercial Fishermen Encountering Sea-Disposed Chemical Munitions
CDR Danielle Shirk Mills, MPH, RS/REHS, GA-CEM, EMHP, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Before the 1970s, disposal of excess, obsolete, or unserviceable munitions at sea was common. Sea-disposal operations included the disposal of conventional munitions of every type and chemical munitions with various chemical agent fills. Commercial fishing, clamming, and dredging operations can stir up these munitions and they can be encountered anywhere at sea, not just charted hazardous areas. There is now increasing concern about environmental and human health effects associated with the disposal of these agents both on land and in the ocean. Environmental health practitioners, especially those along coastal areas, should be aware that these incidents are occurring. This month's column provides several examples of such incidents and introduces a new tool for the fishing industry that was designed to be helpful when chemical munitions are encountered.