Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Program

California Environmental Health Tracking Program

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program emphasizes the development of spatial analysis and visualization methods that enable state-of-the-art systems for predicting geographically related exposures to environmental hazards and relating those exposures to health indicators.

Program Director(s)

Paul English
Eric Roberts

Program Site

www.cehtp.org

Projects

Pesticide Exposures and Risk of Preterm Birth

This subcontract is contributing to the exposure assessment research project proposed by Dr. Gary Shaw of Stanford University. The California Environmental Health Tracking Program will, for example, provide input on the analysis of pesticide exposure for study subjects born in 8 California counties during 1997-2011; geocode addresses from birth certificates for 250,000-300,000 births; and link geocoded addresses to pesticide exposure metrics. 

Analysis of Hospital Claims Data Associated with Elevated Temperatures

This analysis uses claims data from a sample of hospitals to estimate increases in medical care services and costs associated with elevated temperatrues during the period 2007-2012.

Assessment of Environmental Health Data for the California/Mexico Border

This project's goals are to: publish a report presenting environmental health data, trends, and state/national comparisons for the California/Baja California border region; conduct a quality assurance assessment of data sources, including metadata documentation; develop a template that other U.S./Mexico Border regions could use; and produce recommendations and strategies on binational data exchange, and further data collection and integration of Mexican data.

 

 

 

California Breast Cancer Mapping Project

The California Breast Cancer Mapping Project analyzed breast cancer rates by census tract, as opposed to traditional county-level surveillance, and pinpointed four previously unidentified areas of California with rates substantially higher than the state average.

California Environmental Health Tracking Network - Network Implementation

The California Environmental Health Tracking Network implementation project emphasizes the development of spatial analysis and visualization methods that enable state-of-the-art systems for predicting geographically related exposures to environmental hazards and relating those exposures to health indicators. This advances the fundamental goals of the Environmental Public Health Tracking program.

California Environmental Health Tracking Program CDC Support

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program conducts activities to maintain and enhance the Tracking Network, which will provide information to communities and other stakeholders to improve public health. Activities will strengthen environmental public health capacity, and provide access to health/environmental data for decision makers and the public they can use to implement programs, interventions and policies to address environmental health.

California Oil and Gas Real Time Air Monitoring

The goals of this project are to: 1) Produce materials and help with community meeting planning and presentations; 2) Review and provide input on monitor host training or recruitment materials and 3) Assist in planning of report dissemination strategy.

Emergency Department Data for Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

The Environmental Health Tracking program will provide the California EPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment with statewide data related to asthma and heart attack emergency department visits by census track or zip code.

EpiMapVis: A Climate and Remote Sensing Information System for Health Studies

The goal of this proposal is to develop a dynamic, web-based climate change and remote sending visualization system to support ongoing tracking activities of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program. A user needs and design assessment is being conducted to ensure the end users have improved access and usability of data.

Local, Scientifically Valid Geospatial Measures to Assess Community Vulnerability to Climate Change in California

This project focuses on developing a set of geospatial layers for Fresno and Los Angeles counties that can establish the likelihood of community-level heat islands and heat vulnerability. This can be used as a screening tool to guide policy makers and communities in efforts to address climate change impacts.

Metropolitan Area-Based Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Surveillance

In collaboration with McKing Consulting Service, this subcontract provides the Centerse for Disease Control and Prevention with data and analyses on the accuracy of data collected about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis from the metropolitan area surveillance systems.

National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program-Network Implementation: California

The goals of this project are to: 1) maintain, enhance and expand the California Environmental Health Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Network; 2) maintain and enhance standards-compliant network information technology infrastructure; 3) increase the utility of tracking data and information; and 4) increase stakeholder capacity to access, understand and utilize EPHT data and information to carry out public health functions.

Pregnancy Exposures to Pesticides as Risk Factors for Structural Birth Defects in Infants

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) will contribute to the exposure assessment research. Among other activities, CEHTP will obtain the geocodes (latitude, longitude) of approximately 6,000 birth defect cases and controls' maternal addresses (blinded to case/control status) and will link the geocodes to 1997-2008 agricultural pesticide use in California using the CEHTP pesticide linkage system

Project Heat Wave Magnitudes and Public Health Impacts

The goal of this project is to develop an analytic framework to advance knowledge of the relationship between ambient heat and morbidity and mortality as well as the underlying determinants of risk. This information can be translated into public health policy guidelines that reflect current (and future projected) climatological conditions.

Sickle Cell Treatment Demonstration Project

PHI will provide technical assistance with data and data analysis for the Sickle Cell Treatment Demonstration Project. The project works with the Pacific Sickle Cell Regional Collaborative which is collecting data about access, capacity and outcomes in education, genetic counseling, and guidelines.

The Parkinson’s Registry Investigation of Diagnosis and Etiology (PRIDE) Study

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) will assist the Northern California Institute for Research & Education's (NCIRE) exposure assessment research project by 1) Providing input on the analysis of hazards exposure for approximately 3,400 study subject in Santa Clara County; 2) Geocoding addresses and linking geocode addresses to hazard exposure metrics to be determined; 3) Returning all summarized exposure data linked to addresses to SCC Parkinson's Disease Registry for analysis; 4) Providing ongoing consultation regarding statistical analysis of the data produced and 5) Contributing to the writing of manuscripts.

Use of Community-Based Mapping and Monitoring to Reduce Air Pollution Exposures

This project's goals are to: 1) engage community members to define and map local hazards and assets to highlight factors contributing to cumulative exposures, community vulnerability and resilience; 2) deploy a network of inexpensive real-time air monitors that relay data to the Internet for immediate information on pollution levels; 3) use state of the art land use regression modeling to develop the most accurate and detailed picture possible of PM10, PM2.5, and NO2 exposures tin the county to identify hot spots near vulnerable populations; 4) develop a public health action plan for reducing exposures, improving health, and ensuring project sustainability; and 5) evaluate the project.

Water Boundary Tool Pilot Project

This project aims to expand California's Water Boundary Tool (WBT) infrastructure to enable its use by other State Environmental Public Health Tracking Networks and their drinking water regulatory organizations and public water systems. The ultimate vision is to establish a national WBT that will enable every drinking water service area in the US to be mapped and tracked over time. A central website will be developed, potentially with different state-specific sub-directories.


Here's How We're Making a Difference

Calculating the Costs of Environmental Health Conditions in California Children

Eliminating exposures to preventable environmental hazards related to four childhood health conditions could save families and the state of California $254 million annually, and prevent losses of $10-13 billion over the lifetime of all children born in a single year, revealed a 2015 report from PHI's California Environmental Health Tracking Program. 

Explore the report and accompanying graphics. 

 

 

Tracking Heat Vulnerability and Related Illness

Photos by Tim Wagner for Partnership for the Public's HealthClimate change brings with it growing numbers of extreme heat days. Cooling stations and good planning can save lives during heat events, and cool roofs and urban parks reduce heat effects and offer places for physical activity and social connection. Tracking and surveillance are the first steps. PHI’s work on tracking heat vulnerability and heat-related illness and death in California and the U.S. provides the data to identify which areas and individuals are most vulnerable, and to formulate strategies to minimize heat impact.

Uncovering Health Trends along the California-Baja California Border

The California-Baja California border region has unique environmental health challenges stemming from rapid population growth, the movement of people and goods, and industrial activities. Historically, it’s difficult to assess these challenges over time because data are often collected by different agencies, at varying geographic resolutions, and reported with diverse metrics that may not be comparable across time or geographic borders.

Reaching out to new stakeholders working on environmental health in the California-Baja California border region—including contacts in Mexican government and academia—the California Environmental Health Tracking Program collected and analyzed many of these datasets to assess environmental health trends and needs for priority health concerns, identify data gaps and needs in existing environmental health data resources, and provide recommendations to more systematically share environmental health data along the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Using New Mapping Techniques to Identify Elevated Breast Cancer Rates

Research by the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) California Breast Cancer Mapping Project (CBCMP), a project of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, pinpointed four previously unidentified areas of California that have invasive breast cancer rates substantially higher than the state average. As opposed to traditional breast cancer surveillance, which relies on aggregate county-level data, the CBCMP developed and implemented a protocol to map breast cancer rates within and across county boundaries by looking at data (obtained from the Cancer Registry of Greater California, or CRGC) by census tract. This identified the four areas of concern, or groups of census tracts that showed invasive breast cancer rates 10-20 percent higher than the state average between 2000-2008. The four “areas of concern” encompass sections of Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties, as well as parts of the north and south Bay Area. Since these areas span sections of multiple counties, they had never been identified by traditional county-level surveillance as having elevated breast cancer rates.

 

Using Real-Time Air Monitoring to Reduce Pollution Risk

Partnering with the University of Washington, Clean Water Action, and the Kern Environmental Enforcement Network, PHI’s California Environmental Health Tracking Program piloted the use of low-cost air-monitors and canister samplers at residences in Lost Hills California, a low-income community in the Central Valley at the fenceline of oil and gas operations.

The project successfully deployed three monitors, which worked to detect levels of particulate matter and volatile organic compounds at each site. Participants at residences learned about the installation and operation of the low cost monitors, and the community at large learned about pollution measurement and about contaminants of concern. The pilot project also demonstrated the feasibility of deploying low-cost sensors near oil and gas operations, which can be used to display real-time information to help keep communities safe.