"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a new site that promises to bridge the 'fundamental gap in knowing how environmental contaminants affect people's health.'
The site aims to bring together -- in one location -- a range of data sets not only from the the CDC, but from other reputable sources, from the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey to local hospitals, which provide anonymous health data from billing records.
The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network is designed to be useful not only to researchers interested in defining public health strategy, but also to individuals who can investigate supposed cancer clusters, get information about asthma risk and find other information relevant to environmental contamination.
'My vision of this site is that it will be the ... locale on the Web for environmental health information,' said Dr. Michael McGeehin, director of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health. 'What we're trying to do is make sure that this site is the place people go to when they have environmental questions.'"