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My Health & Environment - Environmental Public Health Tracking
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Take Action to Improve Your Health and Environment


What is a Success Story?

A Success Story is an action taken by you, a community, or decision makers to improve the environment and/or public health usually as a result of a public health and/or environmental issue or concern. We are looking for people to use the data and information on our Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) web site to drive actions that resolve a problem or concern.

Why are Success Stories Important?

Success stories are one of the most effective ways to motivate and inspire decision makers, community developers, and leaders to make effective, positive change. The stories provided on this page are proof that progress is being made and lives are being improved because people are using data and information provided on the EPHT web site. Success stories also provide proof to support the need to continue funding the EPHT program. This program assesses potential relationships between disease and environmental hazards, provides intervention and awareness opportunities, and makes environmental health data more accessible to guide future environmental public health policies and strategies.

Check out the Following Success Stories!

Use of EPHT Lead Data in Grant Award

What was the problem?

Though it is preventable, childhood lead poisoning continues to be a major concern in our society. Known health effects resulting from exposure to lead include learning disabilities, behavioral problems and at higher exposure levels, even death. Risk factors include: living in older homes with lead based paints and lead laced dust; old mini-blinds often used in mobile homes; toys manufactured in foreign countries; and/or eating off of pottery that contains lead glazes.

How did Tracking help?

Through federal tracking funding, SC EPHT was able to develop a Lead and Heavy Metals Tracking Database to house all childhood lead data reported to our state agency. From this database, SC EPHT is able to generate reports containing the number of children tested on an annual basis.

How was Public Health improved?

In the fall of 2012, SC EPHT was contacted by the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments (COG) for some additional data regarding childhood lead testing in South Carolina. They had seen the data on our SC EPHT webpages and asked if we could provide them the number of children who had not been tested for lead in the counties they serve. They wanted this information for use in a family center health grant application. SC EPHT was able to provide this data to the COG, and the grant of around $4.1 MILLION dollars for 5 years through 2018 was awarded.

Sharing Information about the Coastal Environment

What was the problem?

South Carolina's large, densely populated coastal area attracts tourists year round. Currently, there is not a single resource that informs people about matters that could affect our coast and the people living on or visiting our coast such as beach conditions, weather advisories, shellfish harvesting, etc.

How did Tracking help?

The South Carolina Tracking Program partnered with state and federal agencies to develop a Coastal Environment webpage within the SC EPHT program's web site. This resource provides easy access to information about South Carolina's coast in one location.

How was Public Health improved?

Residents and visitors to South Carolina's coastal area now have access to information such as: real-time weather and advisories, beach conditions and closures, and the tide tables. This information helps residents and visitors better understand how the state's coastal environment may affect travel plans and health.

Decreasing Lead Exposures in the Workplace

What was the problem?

We typically think about lead poisoning as an issue that affects children. However, adults can also be at risk depending on their hobbies or occupations. Exposure to high levels of lead can damage the brain, nerves, and kidneys. Symptoms of lead exposure may not be noticed until blood lead levels are very high. In extreme cases, exposure to lead can cause lead poisoning. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires blood lead testing for some workers to ensure that their work procedures and protective equipment are effective in preventing overexposure to lead.

How did Tracking help?

The South Carolina Tracking Program built and maintains a database of blood lead testing results for the state. In addition to initiating follow up for cases of elevated childhood lead results, SC EPHT also partners with the SC Occupational Safety and Health Administration (SC OSHA) relative to adult blood lead levels. Tracking staff create quarterly reports that contain individuals with elevated adult blood lead levels and their respective employers. SC OSHA uses the information in these reports to decide where to conduct targeted inspections of worksites where employees' blood lead levels were above established permissible limits.

How was Public Health improved?

The tracking program identified 89 cases of elevated blood leads in occupational settings in 2012. As a result, SC OSHA inspected four workplaces and issued citations consisting of more than 15 violations of varying degree. Most of the worksites were required to pay fines and all are to reduce lead exposures. Workers in these locations now have safer work environments where their risk for lead exposure has been decreased or eliminated.


For additional information, contact the SC EPHT program: epht@dhec.sc.gov
These web pages are supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000628-02 from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.