This is the header of the pages for the Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking Program EPHT Website. It has the logo of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health (BEH) on the left side, a picture of an open field, and a tree on the right side. The logo is located below the tree.

The Massachusetts EPHT Program

Chronic diseases - such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes - are among the most prevalent, costly, and preventable of all health problems. More than 1.7 million people die of a chronic disease each year in the United States. Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of chronic illness, costing the state $34 billion a year.

In 2000, the Pew Environmental Health Commission identified the lack of basic information needed to link environmental hazards and chronic diseases. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded a pilot program for state and local health departments to integrate existing health and environmental information systems and build state-based tracking networks.

As part of this effort, the CDC has worked with state partners to develop a set of nationally consistent environmental and health measures. The Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking (MA EPHT) Program website includes the national environmental and health measures and other health data (e.g., pediatric asthma) for Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health/Bureau of Environmental Health (MDPH/BEH) has been in the forefront of analyzing information from statewide disease registries for cancer and birth defects as well as the pediatric asthma surveillance program to determine if exposure to environmental contaminants may be contributing to higher rates of these chronic diseases. This website provides an opportunity to begin to more closely examine the possible links between environmental exposure and chronic diseases statewide and locally.

The Massachusetts EPHT website provides information on the following health data in Massachusetts residents:

For environmental data, the following information is provided:

This website provides access to reports of environmental and health data in your community including tables and charts that can be downloaded and printed. It is important that specific limitations for each environmental and health topic be considered when interpreting EPHT information for various geographic levels. These limitations are available on the webpages, in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and in the metadata.

It is important to note that MDPH has safeguards in place to protect private health information. To protect privacy, data may only be presented to the public if confidentiality guidelines are followed through the grouping of data (i.e., data aggregation) and/or cell suppression due to a low number of cases.