Health and Environmental Effects Research
Environmental Quality Index
EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in the Environmental Public Health Division is currently engaged in research aimed at developing a measure that estimates overall environmental quality at the county level for the United States. This work is being conducted as an effort to learn more about how various environmental factors simultaneously contribute to health disparities in low-income and minority populations, and to better estimate the total environmental and social context to which humans are exposed. As this project progresses, this website will be used to release project updates and ultimately, the constructed indices for use by others.
- A better understanding is needed as to the simultaneous influence of multiple stressors, especially environmental stressors, on human health. Estimating a more complete range of environmental exposures, instead of one chemical representing one media at one time, will provide a more realistic portrayal of the human environmental exposure experience.
- The environmental quality index (EQI) will be developed for all counties in the United States.
- Data representing the natural, chemical, built and social environments will be included in the EQI; these four environments will be represented by five domains:
- Built environment
- Social determinants
- The EQI will be a tool that can be used to examine the breadth of environmental factors that may contribute to adverse health outcomes, and consequently to environmental health threats to disadvantage communities.
Data Inventory Information
- Data sources were identified using web-based search engines (e.g., google), site specific search engines (e.g., Federal data sites, State data sites), literature-reported data sources (e.g., Pubmed, Science Direct, Toxnet), and word of mouth (e.g., colleagues, other data owners).
- Data that were available at or aggregated to the county-level and represented the years 2000-2005 were included for inclusion in the EQI.
- For each data source identified, we collected most of the following information: environmental medium, data title, URL, data description, data ownership, who provides the data, data format, secondary data format, data geometry, geographic coverage, smallest geographic unit represented, data resolution, record start year, record end year, date data published, if data refreshed, data refresh frequency, metadata availability, metadata link/location, method to obtain data, point of contact information, data constraints, and data limitations. A database containing information on each identified dataset, subset within each domain, was created.
EQI data inventory Access Database (zip file, 449Kb)
ContactDr. Danelle T. Lobdell
Environmental Public Health Division
National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory