Health behind the scenes

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Public Health, Home Health, and how the services the health department offers can help you stay healthy or recover from an injury or illness. This week, I’ll be covering a topic that gets less attention than immunizations or skilled nursing, but is just as important to you and your family’s well being: Environmental Health.

To live a healthy life, we must also live in a healthy environment, right? All that kale and Zumba wouldn’t be worth a thing if we were constantly breathing in toxins through the air, or ingesting them in our food. Luckily, the Environmental Health section at the Grafton-Taylor County Health Department works to combat environmental dangers so you don’t have to. If you must suffer through kale, the least we can do is make sure it’s worth it.

Environmental Health has one goal: to ensure the health and well-being of the citizens and visitors of Taylor County. This goal is accomplished by educating the public, offering various services, and enforcing public health laws through programs and inspections.

These programs include: food sanitation, individual on-site sewage and water supplies, and epidemiological surveillance. Inspections include: child care facilities, schools, manufactured home communities, recreational facilities, institutions, lodging facilities, and body piercing/tattoo studios.

As you can see, most of the work the Environmental Health team does is behind the scenes. They inspect the food establishments you eat at, they test for lead where you live, they make sure the community pool is safe to swim in, and so much more.

It’s not difficult to see how these services play into the health of your environment and in turn, the health of you and your family. Environmental Health protects you from potentially harmful environmental factors such as: hazardous substances in the air, water, soil, or food; natural disasters, physical hazards, and the built environment.

If you’d like to know more information about Environmental Health and how these services protect you and your family, call the office at 304-265-1288 and ask for our Registered Sanitarian, Jeff Kiger, or visit our website at

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