Operated by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, MaineTracking Network connects data and measures to the people that use them to improve public health in Maine, using a web-based data portal.
Why track environmental public health?
Maine tracks certain health effects, exposures, and environmental hazards that have known relationships. We also track some health effects and environmental hazards that have suspected relationships.
By making health and environmental data available through MaineTracking Network, more people have access to data they need to think critically and hypothesize about health outcomes and their relationships to conditions in the environment.
Tracking environmental public health in Maine is part of a national effort to collect nationally consistent, standardized data and measures, and is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over half of the country's states are a part of this effort and together with the U.S. CDC we make up the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. Read about how other states in the national network are improving public health.
The Environmental Health Gap
Until the creation of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network there was no comprehensive system at the state or national level to track many of the exposures and health effects that may be related to environmental hazards.
A 2000 Pew Environmental Health Commission report stated that the nation’s existing environmental health system is neither adequate nor well organized to understand the implications of the environment on public health. The report called this lack of critical knowledge, "the environmental health gap." The Pew Commission recommended the creation of a national network for tracking environmental exposures and disease.
The U.S. Congress responded in 2002 by providing funding to CDC to begin working on the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. In 2006, Congress provided funding for the implementation of the National Tracking Network. With this money, CDC funds health departments in states and cities to build local tracking networks that contribute to the national network.