Posted by Suzanne Condon, Director of the Bureau of Environmental Health
The Bureau of Environmental Health in collaboration with the Bureau of Infectious Disease, the Emergency Preparedness Bureau, the Bureau of Laboratory Sciences, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and its Department of Environmental Protection, as well as environmental advocates, held a symposium on “Climate Variability and Health Impact Assessment” at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA on April 30th.
This program was the first in a series planned in response to increasing concerns among local municipalities in Massachusetts about climate variability. Topics covered included water-related issues including severe weather events that may result in flooding, mitigation measures related to standing water to reduce potential breeding pools for mosquitoes carrying EEE or WNV, and increasing water quality issues due to harmful algal blooms or bacterial contamination of recreational/bathing waters.
The symposium provided local officials with tools and strategies to enhance planning to mitigate effects of climate variability in their communities. The symposium is an excellent example of not only inter-bureau collaboration but importantly cross Secretariat along with external partners to address public health issues related to climate variability in a proactive way.