• textsize: A A A

Health Reports & Data

Environmental Health

Goal

Promote health for all through a healthy environment.

Overview

Humans interact with the environment constantly. These interactions affect quality of life, years of healthy life lived, and health disparities. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines environment, as it relates to health, as “all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related behaviors.”1 Environmental health consists of preventing or controlling disease, injury, and disability related to the interactions between people and their environment.

The Healthy People 2020 Environmental Health objectives focus on 6 themes, each of which highlights an element of environmental health:

  1. Outdoor air quality
  2. Surface and ground water quality
  3. Toxic substances and hazardous wastes
  4. Homes and communities
  5. Infrastructure and surveillance
  6. Global environmental health

Creating health-promoting environments is complex and relies on continuing research to understand more fully the effects of exposure to environmental hazards on people’s health.

Why is Environmental Health Important?

Maintaining a healthy environment is central to increasing quality of life and years of healthy life. Globally, nearly 25 percent of all deaths and the total disease burden can be attributed to environmental factors.1 Environmental factors are diverse and far reaching. They include:

  • Exposure to hazardous substances in the air, water, soil, and food
  • Natural and technological disasters
  • Physical hazards
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • The built environment

Poor environmental quality has its greatest impact on people whose health status is already at risk. Therefore, environmental health must address the societal and environmental factors that increase the likelihood of exposure and disease.

Additional Resources

HP2020’s National Objectives for Environmental Health

References

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Preventing disease through healthy environments. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2006.
ID
OBJECTIVES AND SUB-OBJECTIVES
State Indicator Definition:
Number of days per calendar year in which the Air Quality Index (AQI) value was over 100. The national indicator is defined differently as it uses weighted people days and does not limit the measure to a calendar year.

State Baseline:
252 days (2010)

Most Recent State Value:
254 days (2013)

HP2020 Target:
National: 1,980,000,000 AQI-weighted people days
State: 227 days

National Data Source:
AirNow

State Data Source:
Hawaii State Department of Health, State Laboratories Division, Air Surveillance and Analysis

Data Reports:
HHM Report

EH-2
Increase use of alternative modes of transportation for work
State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of total trips to work made by bicycling. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
0.8% (2006-2010)

Most Recent State Value:
1.1% (2011-2015)

HP2020 Target:
National: 0.6%

National Data Source:
American Community Survey

State Data Source:
American Community Survey

Data Reports:
HHM Report

State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of total trips to work made by walking. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
4.7% (2006-2010)

Most Recent State Value:
4.5% (2011-2015)

HP2020 Target:
National: 3.1%

National Data Source:
American Community Survey

State Data Source:
American Community Survey

Data Reports:
HHM Report

State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of total trips to work made by bus, trolley, subway, railroad, or ferryboat. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
6.0% (2006-2010)

Most Recent State Value:
6.5% (2011-2015)

HP2020 Target:
National: 5.5%

National Data Source:
American Community Survey

State Data Source:
American Community Survey

Data Reports:
HHM Report

State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of persons served by community water systems who receive a supply of drinking water that meets the regulations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Community water systems are public water systems that have at least 15 service connections or serve an average of 25 residents for 60 days/year. A community water system serves year-round residents of a community, subdivision, or mobile home park. The national indicator is defined the same way.

State Baseline:
99.2% (2010)

Most Recent State Value:
99.2% (2011)

HP2020 Target:
National: 91%

National Data Source:
Safe Drinking Water Information System

State Data Source:
Hawaii Department of Health, Safe Drinking Water Branch

Data Reports:
Not available at this time

State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of days that beaches are open and safe for swimming. Reporting is done for those beaches, coastal and Great Lakes beaches, monitored through the beach season. Total available beach days are the sum of the length of each state/territory’s beach season multiplied by the number of beaches in the state/territory. Notification actions are reported as the number of days under advisory or closed. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
99.8% (2010)

Most Recent State Value:
98.6% (2012)

HP2020 Target:
National: 96.0%

National Data Source:
BEACH Program, Environmental Protection Agency

State Data Source:
BEACH Program, Environmental Protection Agency

Data Reports:
HHM Report