Symposium ISEE Columbia, South Carolina 2012

Symposium at International Society for Environmental Epidemiology – 24th Annual Conference (ISEE 2012) held in Columbia, South Carolina, USA, from August 26 to 30, 2012.

Symposium Title:

Environmental Public Health Tracking: international perspectives

Symposium Goal:  to compare development of national environmental public health tracking systems in US, Canada, Italy, and UK, and in particular examine the role of environmental epidemiology in contributing an evidence base and methods for their operation.

Symposium abstract:  Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) integrates hazard monitoring, exposure, and health effects surveillance into an informatics network to provide valid information on environmental exposures and adverse health conditions and the possible spatial and temporal relations between them. An EPHT service has been established for several years in the US and is in initial development in Canada and the UK. A similar approach has developed in Italy but not adopting the term EPHT to describe it. The symposium will reflect on the contribution of environmental epidemiology to design of EPHT and discuss its potential contribution to the reduction of exposures and health effects at the population level.


  • History & Overview of EPHT , Heather Strosnider, CDC EPHT Program, This presentation focused on the history of Tracking as well as provides an overview of the National EPHT Program.
  • Overview of South Carolina’s EPHT Program – Fran W. Marshall, SC EPHT Program Manager. This presentation focused on some specific examples of ways that EPHT has enhanced the availability and use of environmental public health data in South Carolina: 1) lead program, 2) birth defects data; and 3) The Coastal Environmental Health landing page.
  • EPHT in Canada, Eric Lavigne, Public Health Agency of Canada/Agence de la santé publique du Canada, provided a reflection over the challenges associated with the development of EPHT in Canada.
  • The Italian approach to a national environmental public health service, was presented by Roberta Pirastu, University of Rome, and has elements that overlap with EPHT as well as differences. This was illustrated with reference to environmental asbestos.
  • EPHT in the UK, Giovanni Leonardi, Centre for Radiation, Chemical, and Environmental Hazards, Health Protection Agency reported on developments in the UK  including the example of arsenic in private water supplies.