The Community Assessment Program (CAP) triages calls and requests for assistance for the Bureau of Environmental Health. CAP was established in 1987 to educate the public on the relationship between the environment and public health, specifically between exposure to environmental contaminants and potential health risks; to keep an open line of communication between the Bureau of Environmental Health and concerned residents; and to perform preliminary analyses of environmental health concerns, including reports of suspected elevations in disease occurrence and potential relationships to the environment.
CAP works closely with other programs within the Bureau of Environmental Health to design and maintain the Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) program website, also called the MA EPHT portal. The MA EPHT portal is supported through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the ongoing collection, integration, analysis and interpretation of data about environmental hazards, exposure to environmental hazards and the health effects potentially related to exposure. The portal provides access to several health and environmental datasets, including cancer incidence, childhood diabetes and asthma prevalence, drinking water violations, and air quality measures for various geographic areas across the Commonwealth. The MA EPHT portal is available at www.mass.gov/dph/matracking. For more information about the CDC’s national EPHT program, visit http://ephtracking.cdc.gov.
CAP also has a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The purpose of the partnership with ATSDR is to identify pathways of exposure to hazardous substances at waste sites and releases and to identify, implement, and coordinate public health interventions to reduce exposures to hazardous substances at levels of health concern. CAP and the Bureau of Environmental Health have conducted public health assessments and environmental health education and outreach activities at sites throughout Massachusetts for nearly three decades, with a multi-disciplinary team of environmental toxicologists, epidemiologists, environmental scientists, health educators/community involvement staff, medical staff, risk communicators, and geographic information system (GIS) specialists. Projects under the ATSDR cooperative agreement range from assessing sites listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency National Priorities List, also known as Superfund sites, to addressing concerns raised by residents, regulators, local boards of health, other state agencies, and the media. More information about ATSDR can be found here: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/.
Community Assessment Program
250 Washington Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Tel. (617) 624-5757
Fax (617) 624-5777
TTY (617) 624-5286
- Investigating Suspected Cancer Clusters and Responding to Community Concerns: Guidelines from CDC and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
Recommendations and Reports, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), September 27, 2013 / 62(RR08);1-14
- Massachusetts Cancer Registry
- Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking Portal