The Role of Environmental Health
The work of Environmental Health is to minimize the public’s exposure to environmental hazards whether at home, work or play. Environmental health hazards can have a significant effect on the health of the population. Environmental Health evaluates environmental health risks and works to prevent potential health hazards in the community through inspections, permitting, education and referral resources. Environmental Health also provides educational materials to inform the public on topics of air, water and soil quality, vector control, hazardous waste, environmental protection and OnsiteWastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) septic tank regulations.
Food safety is a top priority for Lake County Environmental Health. We conduct inspections of retail food establishments, child care facilities, grocery stores, and schools. Please see the Food Safety page for more information, including how to file complaints, see how your favorite restaurant or establishment did on their latest inspections, and information on what you need to do to start a retail food establishment here in Lake County.
2017 we have FREE Radon test kits available!!
Reminder: Dumping trash in the forest is Illegal
Abandoned piles of household garbage, yard waste, discarded appliances, electronics, furniture, old cars, used tires and demolition debris can threaten the health of humans, wildlife and the environment. These open dump sites can be found throughout Lake County in mine holes, party/camp sites, along roadsides on public and private lands. These are illegal disposal sites. If allowed to remain, they often grow larger and attract more dumping by others.
Open dumps create a public nuisance, divert land from more productive uses and depress the value of surrounding land. They can also pose the following health, safety and environmental threats:
- Injury to children playing in or around the dump site.
- Contamination of streams, rivers and lakes.
- Contamination of soil and groundwater.
- Contamination of drinking water wells.
- Damage to plant and wildlife habitats.
- Disease carried by mosquitoes, flies and rodents.
- Fire and explosion.
- Decrease in the quality of life to nearby residents and the community.
- Deter visitors and tourists (economic loss for our community)
- Costs to local government for investigating and law enforcement, clean up and hauling – costs often passed on to residents via property taxes.
Children generally eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air relative to their size than adults do, and consequently may be exposed to relatively higher amounts of environmental chemicals. Children’s normal activities, such as putting their hands in their mouths or playing on the ground, can result in exposures to chemicals that adults do not face. In addition, some environmental contaminants may affect children disproportionately because their bodies are not fully developed and their growing organs can be more easily harmed. America’s Children and the Environment (ACE) is the EPA’s national report presenting data on children’s environmental health. ACE brings together information from a variety of sources to provide national indicators in the following areas: Environments and Contaminants, Biomonitoring, and Health.
Staying healthy is important to you and your entire family. Follow these easy, low-cost steps to help stop many infectious diseases before they happen!
Indoor Air Quality-
- Please read our fact sheet on the Dangerous Health Effects of Burning Plastics and Waste at Home
- Get a quick glimpse of some of the most important ways to protect the air in your home by touring the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) House. Room-by-room, you'll learn about the key pollutants and how to address them. If you don't want to take the tour, read our Text Version.
- Asthma - is a serious, life-threatening respiratory disease that affects millions of Americans, accounting for nearly 2 million emergency department visits each year. Please Click Here for more information and resources.
- For State Wide Air Pollution Control information please see the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Air Quality (CDPHE) Web Site.
Outdoor Air Quality – Smoke
Why should you be concerned about Air Pollution? Check out The Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act
Open Burning - Lake County has a large amount of forest and with the impacts of the Pine Beetle, responsible property owners are having to make decisions about how to get rid of slash waste. One possible method is to burn the slash in place. This can create an air quality problem as well as a fire control concern.
- Can I burn my pile of slash? In most cases you can burn slash piles but permits are required from the local fire authority. For very large piles, the state health department will need to permit burning. Contact the local fire department to determine what kind of permit you may need.
- Can I have a campfire in my backyard? Recreational fires do not require a burn permit so long as they are kept under control and small. It is recommended to contact local fire department to notify them of your plans prior to burning.