The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has released new policy statements for 2021, ranging from food safety statements to well water quality testing. 

All of the new policy statements are available to read here.

NEHA comprises more than 6,600 governmental, academic, private, and uniformed services sector health professionals in the U.S., as well as its territories and internationally.

NEHA’s statement on food safety asserts that the current capacity for tracking and surveilling foodborne disease outbreaks is not sufficient across agencies and organizations that protect public health. Also, the lack of traceability and transparency in the supply chain will make tracking outbreaks more difficult, as well as time-consuming, which results in more illnesses and deaths. NEHA's recommendations include new and improved technology for tracking and intervention, education, credentialing, and training food safety regulators.

NEHA's statement on well water quality testing notes that even though there are no established federal water quality requirements, more than 15 percent of the population relies on private wells as their primary source of drinking water. NEHA recommends implementing local or state legislation requiring, as well as regulating, private well water quality testing, for free or at low cost, as well as collecting and sharing information with the community regarding identified local contaminants. 

“One of our responsibilities is to raise the voice of the environmental health profession on issues our members and leadership have identified as concerns,” said David Dyjack, NEHA Executive Director. “Our team of subject matter experts is able to conduct the research on best practices on behalf of local, state, territorial, and tribal areas and provide recommendations about how to protect public health.”