Massachusetts Department of Public Health seal Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking

website provides valuable Metadata that can be used for public health tracking of your communities.  Metadata is most commonly defined as ‘data about data’ and this holds true for all MA EPHT metadata records. While metadata can mean different things in different settings, for the MA EPHT website, a metadata record is a descriptive record presented in a standardized format that offers specific information about a dataset.

Similar to the way in which a card in the card catalog at the library can help someone find out more information about a book, a metadata record can help someone learn more information about the dataset that the metadata record describes.

Metadata records provide the who, what, when, where, and why of the dataset.  An example of one particular dataset is shown below.  Go to the MEPHT website to find much more data — including the Environmental Justice database that will be activated soon.

The National EPHT Program

CDC Tracking Grantee Map
Map of CDC's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program Grantees - August 2017: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New York City, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin ::Former Grantees: Pennsylvania, South Carolina Click the map for a larger view.

In 2000, the Pew Environmental Health Commission published a report demonstrating an “environmental health gap” – a lack of basic information needed to link environmental hazards and chronic diseases – exists in the United States and called for a nationwide system to track and combat environmental health threats. Beginning in 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began the process to develop this national tracking system by seeking proposals for funding cooperative agreements with state and local health departments, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health/Bureau of Environmental Health (MDPH/BEH). A map of state and local program grantees is below. Information about partners in the National EPHT Program is available.

Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) is the ongoing collection, integration, analysis, and interpretation of data about:

  • Environmental hazards (e.g., air pollutants)
  • Exposure to environmental hazards (e.g., childhood blood lead levels)
  • Health effects potentially related to exposure (e.g., asthma, cancer)

As part of this effort, the CDC worked with the state/local and academic partners to develop a set of nationally consistent environmental and health measures that are reported on the National EPHT Program website.

Environmental and health measures available on the national CDC portal have been developed for the following national indicators:

Health Indicators

  • Asthma
  • Birth Defects
  • Cancer
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Childhood Lead Poisoning
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
  • Heart Attacks
  • Heat Stress
  • Reproductive Health Outcomes

Environmental Indicators

  • Air Quality
  • Drinking Water Quality

The national website is available at the following address: