From the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat, environmental health officers are working hard behind the scenes to ensure the public’s health is safeguarded.
Their work touches on all aspects of community health, such as food safety and hygiene, water quality, air quality, community sanitation and emergency management.
The province of B.C. proclaimed Jan. 17-23 Environmental Public Health Week, recognizing the efforts of environmental public health professionals to protect the health of British Columbians.
The Vancouver Island Health Authority has 40 environmental health officers whose responsibilities include:
* Regular inspections of rural and urban water systems;
* Follow up cases of reportable communicable diseases transmitted through food, water, insects and animals;
* Approve or inspect public recreational swimming pools and hot tubs to ensure the safety of bathers;
* Review, approve and routinely inspect foods sold publicly at special events, farmers markets and the rapidly expanding local food manufacturing industry.