State Health Department Launches New Web Site for Environmental Health Data

Albany, N.Y. (May 28, 2009) – The New York State Health Department (DOH) today launched the Environmental Public Health Tracker, a new Web-based tool that will provide public access to a variety of environmental and health data, as well as track environmental trends.

Data are being added to the Web site at www.nyhealth.gov/ephtracker in phases, with the first phase focusing on data for asthma and heart attack hospitalizations, birth defects, and cancer incidence. The second phase will include information on air and water environmental health hazards.

"With this new Web site New York joins other states to provide the public with a tracking system for environmental health hazards, exposures, and health outcomes," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "This is one more resource that New Yorkers can use to help make informed decisions about the health of their families and communities."

The DOH Environmental Public Health Tracker was developed in conjunction with the national Environmental Public Health Tracking Network of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is designed to provide standardized data and statistics to track hazards in the environment and the health of people in communities. New York and 15 other states, as well as New York City, are part of the national network.

The CDC is providing approximately $900,000 per year over five years for the development of the national network, including New York's Web site. A Technical Advisory Group whose members include representatives from community and advocacy groups, industry, and academia is helping to guide the development of New York State's Web site.

More information on New York's Environmental Public Health Tracking Program is available at www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/public_health_tracking/.