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Environmental Health Services

Environmental Health Services has traditionally been a leader in new methods of environmental health protection. The first regulatory Air Program in Alabama (state or local level) was established at the Jefferson County Department of Health. The first Communal Living Facility (Boarding Homes) Program was created in 1989 within Environmental Health Services. The first Tanning Facilities Program within Alabama was started in 1994. The first Body Arts (Tattoo) Program was launched in 1994. The first regulations in Alabama covering on-site sewage disposal systems in new subdivisions were adopted in 1950. The first regulations governing public swimming pools were also adopted in 1950. From the very beginning of the Jefferson County Department of Health, environmental health and sanitation have been vital components of public health practice; in the early years sanitation was synonymous with public health. Today Environmental Health Services continues to be an innovative and effective agency, protecting and promoting the health of the citizens and the environment of Jefferson County.

Environmental Health Services regulates but also serves as a community resource. If you have questions or concerns regarding environmental issues, we will assist in you in obtaining the proper information or in identifying the responsible agency. Upon request, Environmental Health Services is able to share much of its environmental data that may be of interest to you. Finally, Environmental Health Services has a "speaker’s bureau" and will provide speakers for most topics that falls under its mission.

Air and Radiation Protection Division

This division consists of the Air Pollution Control Program and the Radiological Health Program.

Community Assessment Division

This Division seeks to engage community stake holders in the process of determining local community environmental health issues, setting priorities, and developing a course of action to address key issues and concerns.

Community Environmental Protection Division

This diverse division consists of what are considered to be "traditional" public health units as well as more recent programs designed to protect the health of those engaged in specific activities. The major program is the On-Site Sewage Program, which most people know through the regulation of individual homeowner’s septic tank & field lines. A newer area is the Watershed Protection Division, which monitors pollutants entering the water supply through various point sources. This division also contains the Rabies Prevention and Body Arts (Tattoo and Piercing) programs and has responsibility for regulation of Public Swimming Pools. Finally, this division is where you want to make contact if you happen to discover problems with generally unsanitary conditions [temp link]within the community or have problems with public health vectors or pests such as rodents, flies or mosquitoes.

Food and Lodging Protection Division

This Division is responsible for the protection of the public from food-borne illness through its Food Protection Program. One method of promoting food safety is through education in the Foodhandler Training Program. All food establishments that prepare, package, serve, or sell to the public are inspected on a regular basis. This division also regulates all lodging facilities and boarding homes. Residents of boarding homes are not only protected against sanitation concerns but are also protected from abuse and neglect in this program. Beginning in 2012, inspections of child care facilities will begin.