World Environmental Health Day

World Environmental Health Day is Saturday, September 26

When most people think of their local health department, they usually think of restaurant inspections and COVID-19. Although these are important tasks for public health staff to tackle, they are only two of many responsibilities that our staff and specifically our environmental health (EH) staff work on every day.

The staff in our EH division are public health professionals, who inspect, investigate and enforce health and safety regulations within different types of environments to reduce health risks, and they ensure that our communities remain healthy and safe.

Through their work, EH staff lowers the risk for zoonotic and vector diseases, minimizes solid/infectious/hazardous waste within the community, ensures that our water is clean and that food served to the public is safe to eat. Staff also makes sure that places like schools, body art establishments, public pools, and even your home/yard are safe.

They also respond to outbreaks within an environment to determine the cause and remedy a solution. Examples include finding the cause of a legionella outbreak at a nursing home and providing guidance and instructions to keep additional patients from getting sick. EH staff may close or advise public pool owners to hyper-chlorinate their pools when residents start coming down with Cryptosporidium (a disease that causes watery diarrhea).

While responding to COVID-19 and restaurant complaints are important, environmental health professionals do so much more. If you would like to learn more about our EH programs, please visit

International Federation of Environmental Health