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Environmental Health

The physical environment in which people live is an important determinant of health. At certain levels of exposure, contaminants in our air, water, food and soil can cause a variety of adverse health effects. Environmental health is a component of the public health system and is committed to protecting the health of the public and enhancing quality of life by assessing, correcting, controlling, and preventing those factors in the environment that can adversely affect human health. The prevention of injury, disease and death that may result from interactions of people with their environment is the goal of the environmental health program.

The field component of the Department’s environmental health program is carried out by Environmental Health Officers with the Department of Government Services. If you wish to talk to an Environmental Health Officer please contact the Government Service Centre, Department of Government Services, at the location nearest you.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, and throughout Canada, professionals called Environmental Health Officers or Public Health Inspectors rely on a number of methods to protect the health of the public, such as:

  • enforcement of public health protection legislation;
  • education and health promotion (e.g., food safety, drinking water);
  • advice and consultation on health related matters;
  • investigations of illnesses;
  • inspection and monitoring; and
  • health hazard investigation and analysis.

The Government Service Centre is responsible for carrying out the field component of the environmental public health program in the province and is responsible for fulfilling the program requirements set down by the Public Health, Wellness, and Children and Youth Services Branch of the Department of Health and Community Services (DHCS). There are 36 Environmental Health Officer (EHO) positions in the province located in fifteen different communities. Environmental Health Officers report to regional management with the Department of Government Services.

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