Environmental health in MMWR--1961-2010
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Environmental health in MMWR--1961-2010

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      As an epidemiology bulletin, MMWR has unique strengths and attributes. These include weekly publication (highlighting timeliness and frequency of reporting), rapid turnaround, a close relation with government practitioners of public health (federal, state, and local), and a clear mission of informing the public health community and the general public about new, reemerging, and ongoing threats to the public's health. With its integral relationship to CDC, MMWR also is a means of publishing major internal CDC reports, particularly surveillance reports. The field of environmental health is particularly heterogeneous and diverse. Environmental threats can be categorized singly as particular toxins, chemicals, or risks (e.g., lead, mercury, dioxin, rats, and poisons), grouped by environmental media (e.g., air pollutants, water pollutants, and hazardous wastes), broadly demarcated by environmental place or setting (e.g., homes, communities, and rural environments), or more broadly by national versus global concerns. Similarly, environmental diseases can be categorized as diseases essentially caused by a specific environmental factor (e.g., heat stroke and carbon monoxide [CO] poisoning); diseases caused, triggered, or exacerbated by environmental risk factors (e.g., asthma); or chronic multifactorial diseases for which environmental risk factors are just one category of multiple risk factors (e.g., heart disease or cancer). Beyond disease, natural and human-made disasters (e.g., chemical, biologic, and nuclear/radiation), including terrorist events, are an essential focus of environmental health. Given the attributes of MMWR and the breadth of environmental health, readers might anticipate that MMWR environmental health reports focus heavily on new or reemerging epidemic diseases, disaster situations, chemicals and toxins causing acute clinical illness, newly identified risk factors and threats for acute illness, and surveillance updates for tracking environmental disease. Indeed, such has been the case, particularly in MMWR's early years; however, in recent years, coverage has broadened. This report provides an overview of MMWR as it related to environmental health during 1961--2010; the presentation of results follows the outline of the environmental framework (Table 1) and highlights the public health problems addressed in MMWR. su6004a14.htm?s_cid=su6004a14_w
    • Source:
      MMWR Suppl. 2011 Oct 7;60(4):86-96.
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