There is a fundamental gap in our knowledge of how the environment affects health. Chronic diseases, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes and heart disease account for over 70 percent of deaths in the United States. While links between certain chronic diseases and the environment have been reported, many of these connections remain unclear. Information that is available through the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network can be used to help identify hazards and risks that can be alleviated or avoided to create a better quality of life for Kansas families.
Through a grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the Kansas Environmental Public Health Tracking Program has developed applications to collect, analyze, interpret and publish environmental health data indicators as part of the National Environmental Public Health Tacking Network.
The tracking network can help to identify threats to the health of Kansans posed by the environment and will improve how KDHE responds to those threats. Individuals are able to access critical environmental health information that can assist them to make informed decisions and take action if necessary to protect themselves and their families. The network is part of a national initiative led by the CDC and includes a web-based system to track key environmental hazards and health problems across Kansas. Timely, integrated environmental and health data at the federal, state and local levels via the national and state tracking networks provide a basis for early notification of pending environmental threats or unexpected events.