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CDC's One-Stop Shop for Environmental Public Health Data

This Web site provides a reference list of nationally funded data systems that have a relationship to environmental public health. This list is not meant to be a comprehensive inventory. Rather, it highlights the major data systems with a national scope where public health and environmental data can be directly downloaded from the Internet.

Health Data

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses [external link]
    The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses is a Federal/State program in which employers' reports are collected annually from about 176,000 private industry establishments and processed by State agencies cooperating with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Summary information on the number of injuries and illnesses is copied by these employers directly from their recordkeeping logs to the survey questionnaire. The questionnaire also asks for the number of employee hours worked (needed in the calculation of incidence rates) as well as its average employment (needed to verify the unit's employment-size class).

Biomonitoring Data


Environmental Data

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Air Data

  • Acid Rain Emissions Tracking System [external link]
    The overall goal of the Acid Rain Program is to achieve significant environmental and public health benefits through reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the primary causes of acid rain. Under the Acid Rain Program, each unit must continuously measure and record its emissions of S02, NOx, and CO2, as well as volumetric flow and opacity. In most cases, a continuous emission monitoring system must be used. There are provisions for initial equipment certification procedures, periodic quality assurance and quality control procedures, recordkeeping and reporting, and procedures for filling in missing data periods. Units report hourly emissions data to EPA on a quarterly basis. This data is then recorded in the Emissions Tracking System, which serves as a repository of emissions data for the utility industry.

  • Air Quality System (AQS) [external link]
    The AQS database contains measurements of "criteria air pollutant" concentrations in the 50 United States, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The database is updated nearly every day by states and local environmental agencies that operate the monitoring stations.
  • National Emission Inventory (NEI) Data [external link]
    EPA prepares a national emission inventory with input from numerous state and local air agencies. These data are used for air dispersion modeling, regional strategy development, regulation setting, air toxics risk assessment, and tracking trends in emissions over time. Criteria pollutant emissions data for 1985 through 1998 are available in the National Emission Trends (NET) database. Hazardous air pollutant emissions data are available for 1993 and 1996 in the National Toxics Inventory (NTI) database. For 1999, criteria and HAP emissions data are being prepared in a more integrated fashion in the National Emission Inventory, which will take the place of the NET and the NTI.

EPA Multimedia Data

EPA Toxics Data

EPA Water Data

EPA Ambient Water Data

EPA Drinking Water Data

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Flood Hazard Mapping (Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map [DFIRM] Database) [external link]
    A standard DFIRM database has been designed to facilitate DFIRM production. The new FEMA Geographic Information System (GIS) databases will store the digital data used in the map production process, as well as the backup engineering data for the floodplain studies. These databases will provide a standard, systematic method for FEMA to distribute comprehensive details of its flood studies to the public in a digital format.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Total Diet Study (TDS) [external link]
    The TDS, sometimes called the Market Basket Study, is an ongoing FDA program that determines levels of various contaminants and nutrients in foods. Since its inception in 1961 as a program to monitor for radioactive contamination of foods following atmospheric nuclear testing, TDS has grown to encompass additional radionuclides, residues of pesticides, industrial chemicals, toxic and nutritional elements, and folate. In all instances, analyses have been performed on foods that are prepared as they would be consumed (table-ready), so the final results can be used to provide a realistic measure of the dietary intake of these analytes.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA)
    [external link]
    The NAWQA provides data about water chemistry, hydrology, land use, stream habitat, and aquatic life for major river basins and aquifers.
  • National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN)
    [external link]
    The NASQAN program provides ongoing characterization of the concentrations and flux of sediment and chemicals in the Nation's largest rivers.
  • National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) [external link]
    The NADP/NTN is a nationwide network of precipitation monitoring sites. The network is a cooperative effort between many different groups, including the State Agricultural Experiment Stations, USGS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and numerous other governmental and private entities. For a full list of contributors, see the collaborating agencies page [external link]. The NADP/NTN has grown from 22 stations at the end of 1978, its first year, to over 200 sites [external link] spanning the continental United States, Alaska, and Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The purpose of the network is to collect data on the chemistry of precipitation for monitoring of geographical and temporal long-term trends. The precipitation at each station is collected weekly according to strict clean-handling procedures. It is then sent to the Central Analytical Laboratory where it is analyzed for hydrogen (acidity as pH), sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, chloride, and base cations (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium).
  • National Water Information System [external link]
    The USGS investigates the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, and movement of surface and underground waters and disseminates the data to the public, state and local governments, public and private utilities, and other federal agencies involved with managing our water resources. These pages provide access to water-resources data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
  • National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse [external link]
    The USGS node of the National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse is a component of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. It provides a pathway to find information about geospatial or spatially referenced data available from USGS. The USGS node actually encompasses a distributed set of sites organized on the basis of the USGS's four principal data themes. The first, Geography, offers the familiar USGS topographic maps and other geographic products that have long been associated with USGS. These products typically are of general use across many disciplines for basemaps and other purposes. As Geographic Information Systems have come to play an increasingly important role in science, however, the biology, geology, and water disciplines also have produced important geographic data sets related to their themes.

Other Data

Census Bureau
  • The Census Bureau [external link] is the most authoritative service providing current and historical data about population, geography, and economics.

Query Engines

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) [external link]
    The MEPS is a vital resource designed to continually provide policymakers, health care administrators, businesses, and others with timely, comprehensive information about health care use and costs in the United States, and to improve the accuracy of their economic projections. MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of private health insurance held by and available to the U.S. population.
  • CDC
    • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
      The BRFSS is a telephone survey conducted by all state health departments, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam with assistance from CDC. The BRFSS is the largest continuously conducted telephone health survey in the world. States use BRFSS data to track critical health problems and to develop and evaluate public health programs. The BRFSS is the primary source of information on the health-related behaviors of adults in this country. States use standard procedures to collect data through monthly telephone interviews with adults 18 or older. BRFSS interviewers ask questions related to behaviors that are associated with preventable chronic diseases, injuries, and infectious diseases.
    • Cancer Control Planet [external link]
      This PLANET portal is sponsored by CDC, NCI and other agencies/organizations. The PLANET portal provides access to data and resources that can help planners, program staff, and researchers to design, implement and evaluate evidence-based cancer control programs. It also provides access to Web-based resources that can assist in:
      1. Assessing the cancer and/or risk factor burden within a given state.
      2. Identifying potential partner organizations that may already be working with high-risk populations.
      3. Understanding the current research findings and recommendations.
      4. Accessing and downloading evidence-based programs and products.
      5. Finding guidelines for planning and evaluation.
    • CDC Wonder [external link]
      WONDER provides a single point of access to a wide variety of reports and numeric public health data.
    • Data FERRET (Federal Electronic Research and Review Extraction Tool)
      FERRET allows access to micro-data sets via the Web. Currently, the 1994 Underlying Cause-of-Death File, the 1993 National Health Interview Survey and the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey are available via FERRET.
    • TheDataWeb [external link]
      TheDataWeb is a network of online data libraries. Topics include census data, economic data, health data, income and unemployment data, population data, labor data, cancer data, crime and transportation data, family dynamics, and vital statistics data.
    • Work Related Injury Statistics Query System (Work-RISQS)
      Work-RISQS provides a Web-based public access query system for obtaining national estimates (number of cases) and rates (number of cases per hours worked) for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Users may interactively query based on demographic characteristics, nature of injury/illness, and incident circumstances for the years 1998 and 1999. Additional data-years will be added in future updates.
    • Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)
      WISQARS is the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control's interactive, online database that provides customized injury-related mortality data and nonfatal injury data useful for research and for making informed public health decisions.
    • AirData [external link]
      The AirData Web site gives access to yearly summaries of U.S. air pollution data, taken from EPA's air pollution databases. The data include all fifty states plus District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AirData has information about where air pollution comes from (emissions) and how much pollution is in the air outside our homes and workplaces (monitoring).
    • Air Information Retrieval System AQS
      The query portion of the AirData [external link] area gives users the ability to obtain data from the AIRS AQS data tables and descriptive code tables that have been exported into the interim database.
    • AIRNow [external link]
      EPA has developed the AIRNow Web site to provide the public with easy access to national air-quality information. The Web site offers daily air-quality forecasts as well as real-time air quality for over 275 cities across the United States, and provides links to more detailed state and local air-quality Web sites.
    • Envirofacts Data Warehouse [external link]
      Envirofacts is a single point of access to select EPA environmental data. This Web site provides access to several EPA databases to provide information about environmental activities that may affect air, water, and land anywhere in the United States. With Envirofacts, you can learn more about these environmental activities in your area or you can generate maps of environmental information. Topics include Waste, Water, Toxics, Air, Radiation, Land, Other, and Maps.
    • Enviromapper [external link]
      EnviroMapper is a powerful tool used to map various types of environmental information, including air releases, drinking water, toxic releases, hazardous wastes, water discharge permits, and Superfund sites.
    • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo) [external link]
      Hazardous waste information is contained in RCRAInfo, a national program management and inventory system about hazardous waste handlers. In general, all generators, transporters, treaters, storers, and disposers of hazardous waste are required to provide information about their activities to state environmental agencies. These agencies in turn pass on the information to regional and national EPA offices.
    • Search your community [external link]
      Enter your zip code and choose from four databases to retrieve environmental information about your community.
    • Sunwise [external link]
      To help educators raise sun-safety awareness, EPA has developed the SunWise School Program, a national education program for grades K-8. SunWise Partner Schools sponsor classroom and schoolwide activities that raise children's awareness of stratospheric ozone depletion, ultraviolet radiation, and simple sun-safety practices. SunWise is a collaborative effort of schools, communities, teachers, parents, health professionals, environmental groups, meteorologists, educational organizations, and others.
    • Surf Your Watershed [external link]
      Surf Your Watershed is a service to help you locate, use, and share environmental information about your state and watershed.
    • TRI Explorer [external link]
      The TRI Explorer provides access to Toxics Release Inventory data to help communities identify facilities and chemical release patterns that warrant further study and analysis. Combined with hazard and exposure information, the TRI Explorer can be a valuable tool for risk identification.
    • Windows to My Environment (WME) [external link]
      WME is a powerful Web-based tool that provides a wide range of federal, state, and local information about environmental conditions and features in an area of your choice. This application is provided by EPA in partnership with federal, state and local government and other organizations.
    National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute