policy

NEHA Policy Statements

One of NEHA’s responsibilities is to speak up on issues of concern to our members and the profession through the adoption of policy statements. These are statements that have been vetted by NEHA and adopted by the NEHA Board of Directors as official statements of the association. These statements set forth NEHA’s beliefs on a specific subject related to environmental health, and are shared with state, local and federal policy makers, including both the executive and legislative branches, as well as relevant environmental and public health boards.

These policies remain active for 3 years from their adoption by the NEHA Board.

NEHA supports federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial health department efforts to improve the safety of the body art industry through thoughtful regulation to protect the health of the public.

NEHA advocates incorporating the vector management framework outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Mosquito Control Association, and World Health Organization while also integrating a One Health approach. 

NEHA advocates for national, state, and local policies, regulations, research, and resources that will enhance the abilities of environmental health professionals to ensure the safety of private well users to protect public health.

NEHA advocates for federal, state, territorial, local, and tribal policies, regulations, research, and the requisite resources to enhance the abilities of environmental health professionals to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases and protect public health. As such, NEHA also advocates incorporating the vector management framework outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Mosquito Control Association, and World Health Organization while also integrating a One Health approach. 

NEHA recommends the complete integration of environmental health into public health emergency preparedness to promote the highest level of health and safety for individuals and communities affected by disasters.

NEHA recognizes the need for safe food handling practices at every step of food production, from the farm to processing, transportation, and preparation at the retail food level. Foodborne illness continues to be a preventable public health concern. NEHA supports preventive measures to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness.

NEHA recommends the adoption of current best practices in food safety by state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies, along with industry food safety professionals. This adoption will ensure the safety of our nation’s food supply by moving toward a fully integrated and uniform national food safety system. This system can be achieved by adopting, implementing, and fully funding proactive, science‐based measures that have been shown to reduce the likelihood of foodborne illness. 

The National Environmental Health Association, National Network of Public Health Institutes, Dining Safety Alliance, and investigators at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health recommend that federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governmental agencies mandate the posting of food inspection results at the point-of-service. This recommendation is a potentially effective public policy that fosters transparency, population health, and informed consumer choice at point-of-service.

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) recognizes the nutritional value of milk, as well as the scientific evidence that raw milk can transmit pathogenic bacteria to the consumer. NEHA further recognizes the scientific and public health evidence that pasteurization of milk is proven to be a sound method of preventing milk‐borne disease.

NEHA supports the investment of greater resources into research on onsite wastewater systems construction, operation, and maintenance regulations. Furthermore, NEHA supports the implementation of state or local policy standards on onsite wastewater systems construction, operation, and maintenance.

NEHA advocates for national, state, and local policies, regulations, research, and resources that will enhance the ability of environmental health professionals to contribute to and benefit from advances in environmental health science and practice. Such advances might be due to new and emerging technologies and ideas that enhance the ability to protect public health. Therefore, it is important for NEHA to interact with, participate in, and even influence the processes and systems associated with research, development, and innovation.

Climate change is affecting environmental health—the quality of air, food, and water in the communities where we live, work, and play. NEHA recognizes climate change as a world-wide environmental health problem that has health and safety impacts to individuals and communities. Environmental health professionals improve and protect the public’s health and create and sustain healthy communities. It is NEHA’s responsibility to support the capacity of environmental health professionals to address the health impacts of climate change with risk assessment, adaptation, and mitigation planning.

NEHA recommends all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governmental agencies to enroll in the Food and Drug Administration Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards to implement current national standards that outline a process of program self-assessment and continuous improvement of existing regulatory program measures to help reduce foodborne illness risk factors. Enrollment and conformance ensure the safety and security of the food supply at the retail level.

NEHA recommends the integration and adoption of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Model Aquatic Health Code by state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies to ensure public health and safety in aquatic facilities.

NEHA supports the implementation of regulation that contains sufficient regulatory authority to prevent illness from cannabis-infused food products and recommends the adoption of current best practices in food safety and the following policies and actions.

NEHA recognizes that racism hinders its members from fully carrying out its mission to “advance the environmental health professional with the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all.” Therefore, NEHA recommends that environmental health professionals address structural and systemic racism that hinder the delivery of environmental health services to the most vulnerable populations.

NEHA recommends the complete adoption and implementation of the current Food Code by all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governmental agencies to promote the most current knowledge on food safety.

NEHA advocates for national, state, and local policies, regulations, research, and resources that will enhance the ability of environmental health professionals to regulate cottage foods and home-based restaurants in order to protect public health.