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Environmental Health is the branch of public health that focuses on the relationships between people and their environment, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters healthy and safe communities.
Environmental health is a key part of any comprehensive public health system. The field works to advance policies and programs to reduce chemical and other environmental exposures in air, water, soil, and food to protect people and provide communities with healthier environments.
According to Wisconsin State Statute 254.01, “Environmental Health means the assessment, management, control, and prevention of environmental factors that may adversely affect the health, comfort, safety, or well-being of individuals.”

The Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department (SMCHD) uses surveillance and investigation methods to identify if any environmental complaints meet the statutory definition of a “Human Health Hazard” (HHH). The SMCHD has the authority to control and abate human health hazards.
A Human Health Hazard is defined as “a substance, activity, or condition that is known to have the potential to cause acute or chronic illness, to endanger life, to generate, or spread infectious diseases, or otherwise injuriously to affect the health of the public”.

Human Health Hazard(s) Listing: 
  • Presence of animal waste inside the dwelling
  • Presence of human waste
  • Unfunctioning toilet (at least 1)
  • Unfunctioning shower/bathtub
  • Unfunctioning kitchen sink
  • Unsafe drinking water
  • Accumulation of garbage and/or organic material that it interferes with critical living spaces (kitchen, bathroom(s), bedroom(s)
  • Infestation of vermin or pests (mice, rats, cockroaches, raccoons, bats, etc.)
  • Evidence of intrusion
  • Harboring of pests
  • Evidence of breeding of rodents outside of enclosure(s)
  • Hoarding where the accumulation of materials impedes livable space (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, blocking entrances
Severe structural deficiency:
  • Exposed subfloor
  • Holes in the ceiling
  • Compromised support structures (weight-baring poles, beams, etc.)
  • Impassible stairways
Presence of hazardous substance:
  • Illicit drugs & paraphernalia
  • Open/spilled chemicals
  • Open gasoline/oils containers
  • Unobstructed entrance(s) and exit(s)