Spotlight Shines on Environmental Health
For Immediate Release Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Spotlight Shines on Environmental Health on April 23rd
Governor John Kitzhaber has declared Monday, April 23, to be National Environmental Health Specialist Day in Oregon. There are nearly 300 registered environmental health specialists and trainees in Oregon, working "behind the scenes" to protect and improve the public's health by preventing and managing environmental hazards.
"Public health work has contributed significantly to a 30-year increase in life expectancy and overall quality of life over the last century," says Toby Harris, environmental health program supervisor for Washington County. "Our health is dependent on both the natural and man made environment. Key environmental health contributions have included improvements in food and drinking water safety as well as wastewater disposal. Sustaining these improvements and addressing new environmental challenges are critical to both individual health and the health of our community."
Environmental health specialists spend most of their day out of the office performing site inspections related to food establishments, sewage disposal systems, child care facilities, schools, swimming pools, pest control, hotels, camping grounds, and drinking water systems.
They evaluate facilities for compliance with health codes, oftentimes making critical decisions based on comprehensive knowledge of regulatory requirements, science, and the ability to find practical solutions to protect health. Environmental health specialists work with industries, businesses, architects, engineers as well as members of the public to ensure best practices and public health protection.
The next time you reach for a glass of water, enjoy a meal at your favorite restaurant, or leave your children at daycare, remember that dedicated environmental health specialists are working hard to make your experiences – your life – safe.
Contact:Wendy Gordon, Dept. Communications Coordinator