When we look at health outcome data it can be difficult to make the connections about how an illness may be related to environmental hazards or exposures. Some adverse health effects, like carbon monoxide poisoning, can have quick short-term harmful results as a result of exposure. Other adverse health outcomes, like certain cancers, may take years or even decades to develop as a result of exposure. 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:



Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways that carry oxygen in and out of the lungs. If a person has asthma, the inside of these airways is irritated and swollen. Asthma can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest.

birth defects

Birth Defects

Birth defects are problems that happen as a baby develops in the mother's body. A birth defect may affect how the body looks, works, or both.



Cancer is a group of diseases in which once normal cells in the body become abnormal and retain the ability to grow out of control.

carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) fumes can build up in places that do not have a good flow of fresh air, such as a garage or a house with closed windows and doors. Breathing high levels of CO can cause severe illness or death in a matter of minutes.



Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) refers to a group of diseases that cause breathing-related problems, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and some cases of asthma.

heart attacks

Heart Attacks

A heart attack or acute myocardial infarction, happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is severely reduced or stopped. Factors including health, lifestyle, and environment can be involved in the increased risk for heart attacks.

heat related illness

Heat Related Illness

Heat illness includes a range of health impacts caused by heat stress from milder conditions like heat rash and heat cramps, to the most common type, heat exhaustion.

lead poisoning

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death. This is why routine blood lead testing is required for Iowa Children and for workers in some industries.


Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a group of infections that are predominately transmitted by sexual intercourse. Some STDs are reportable to the Iowa Department of Public Health, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.