When we think of the environment and how it impacts health, we tend to think of the earth and our natural environment:

  • the air we breathe,
  • the water we drink,
  • the food we eat.

Humans are connected and a part of their natural environment. However, we may also spend a great deal of time in our homes, at work, in school, or in other buildings. We breathe indoor air, and consume or use household products, cosmetics, and medicines.

Environmental hazards may include any chemicals or toxins we come into contact with that can cause harm. An example would be lead paint in the home or particulate matter in outdoor air. The presence of a hazard does not necessarily mean that health problems will occur, but it may cause a disease or other health problem.

The Iowa Tracking Network is putting both Health and Environmental data together to assist in identifying and exploring the connections.