In This Section



Welcome to the Environment Section
  • Have you or has anyone you know ever suffered from an environmentally-related illness (lead poisoning, E-coli infection, asthma)?
  • Are you concerned with clean drinking water, a safe food source, air quality, the built environment, climate change, or exposure to toxic substances?
  • Are you interested in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, climate change policy, environmental justice, or local zoning regulations to promote health?

If these or similar issues are of interest to you, then you should consider joining the Environment Section today!


What is environmental health?

Environmental health and protection refers to protection against environmental factors that may adversely impact human health or the ecological balances essential to long-term human health and environmental quality, whether in the natural or man-made environment. (Journal of Environmental Health, April, 1996)

Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors impacting behaviors. It encompasses the assessment and control of those environmental factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. (World Health Organization: Environmental Health Webpage)

What do environmental health professionals do?

Environmental health professionals work to focus attention on how environmental factors impact human health and help to shape national environmental health and protection policies. Environmental health professionals work in areas including:

  • Pollution Research and Remediation: air, water, noise and radiation
  • Food and Water Safety
  • Toxic Substance and Pesticide Control
  • Environmental Threat Response: toxins, catastrophes, diseases and agricultural outbreaks
  • Built Environment Planning

Environment Health You: a short film about environmental health
In 2011-2012, the Environment Section of the American Public Health Association began its celebration of 100 years as a section.  In honor of this milestone, the members of the section came together, in collaboration with Dr. Deborah Fryer of Lila Films, to develop a short film about the field of environmental health. From the turn of the century through the beginning of the 21st Century, this short film provides a snapshot of the early environmental public health conditions, successes in changing the environmental health landscape and the environmental health challenges that lie ahead of us.

In this short 12 minute film, we celebrate the diversity of the field - from air quality to safe drinking water; from early vaccinations to our changing food systems; from toxic chemicals to children's environmental health. It honors the work of public health sanitarians, local health practitioners, researchers, policy makers, advocates and those on the front line of community environmental health. It highlights the future challenges and the opportunities for the next generation of environmental public health practitioners, policy makers and scientists.

Join us in the journey to create, maintain and sustain healthy environments here and abroad.

Watch Environment Health You Now!

For more information about the film, please contact Jill Litt at

How can I learn more about environmental health?

Visit APHA’s Environmental Health Website to learn about Environmental Health Services