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Environment

When we think of the environment and how it impacts health, we tend to think of the earth and our natural environment - the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. Humans are connected and a part of their natural environment. However, we may also spend a great deal of time in our homes, at work, in school, or in other buildings. We breathe indoor air, and consume or use household products, cosmetics, and medicines. Environmental hazards may include any chemicals or toxins we come into contact with that can cause harm. An example would be lead paint in the home or particulate matter in outdoor air. The presence of a hazard does not necessarily mean that health problems will occur, but it may cause a disease or other health problem. The Iowa Tracking Network is putting both Health and Environmental data together to assist in identifying and exploring the connections.

 

The Iowa Tracking Network includes data in the following areas:

air quality

Air Quality


Air pollution is associated with health problems that include increased emergency department visits and hospitals stays for breathing and heart problems, asthma, and increases in illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis.


climate

Climate and Health


The climate is a principle aspect of the environment we live in, affecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. The climate we live in impacts our health and quality of life.


private well water

Private Well Water


Private water wells supply drinking water to households across Iowa that are not served by Public Water Systems.


public drinking water

Public Drinking Water


Drinking water quality is an important public health issue because contamination in a single system can expose many people at once.