Environment and Health

PHAIWA Projects and Resources

The environment influences human health in many ways — through exposures to physical, chemical and biological risk factors, and through related changes in behaviour in response to those factors. The built environment, climate change and access to green spaces are just a few of the issues that PHAIWA addresses.

Since 2011, PHAIWA has run the Children’s Environment and Health Report Card Project which recognises the importance policy and programs developed by WA local governments to increase and promote children’s health. To read more on their project click here.

Environmental Health Australia (EHA) is the premier environmental health professional organisation in Australia which advocates regarding environmental health issues and represents the professional interests of all environmental health practitioners. EHA is committed to the professional development and status of its members and the enhancement of environmental health standards and services to the community through advocacy, promotion, education and leadership.

You can visit the EHA website here.

The Department of health has a range of environment and health resources available to download here.

Environmental Health Resources

Environmental Health Australia

To read The Department of Health’s Campfire Newsletter, please click on this link.

Perceived Environmental Health Risks WA

Community Survey of Perceived Environmental Health Risks in Western Australia 2009

This report was released in 2009 and can be downloaded from the Department of Health WA website.  

The report was authored by the Environmental Health Directorate of the Western Australian Department of Health. It gauges current public opinion on environmental health risks in order to inform its strategic planning and ongoing decision making. The survey of 1710 people, aimed to identify existing and emerging environmental health concerns across different sections of the Western Australian community. The objectives were:
1. To describe the community’s perceptions of risk for a range of environmental health issues.

2. To compare perceptions of environmental health risks for the individual and their family with those of all Western Australians.

3. To compare perceptions by differing socio-economic characteristics, level of industrial activity and geographical locations.

4. To provide baseline data to enable perceptions of environmental health risk to be monitored over time.

5. To describe the community’s level of confidence in sources of information about environmental health.

6. To describe the community’s views on who has responsibility for managing environmental health and how well they are doing this.

7. To enable improvements in communication and decision making regarding environmental health issues.

The top three hazards perceived to be the highest risk to health for all Western Australians were passive smoking, water scarcityand sun exposure. Approximately two-thirds of respondents rated these hazards as a ‘high’ risk to health. The top three hazards perceived to be the highest risk to the health to the respondent and their family were: misuse of chemicals and poisons in the home and garden, food additives and germs in food. More than 20% of respondents rated these hazards as a ‘high’ risk to health.

Environmental Health Needs Report of Aboriginal Communities in WA

This report outlines the findings from a survey of discrete Aboriginal communities during late 2007 and through 2008, funded by the Environmental Health Coordinating Committee (EHNCC), the peak coordinating body in Aboriginal environmental health in WA.

The survey was coordinated by the Environmental Health Needs Coordinating Committee and conducted by environmental health practitioners who work with, and in, discrete Aboriginal communities. Each of the participating communities was visited by environmental health practitioners in order to survey the infrastructure and collect information from community members. This information included levels of community satisfaction and concern with the provision of essential, municipal and allied services influencing and affecting environmental health.

The Report provides analysis on the eight core environmental health indicators of:

1. Water

2. Electricity

3. Housing

4. Solid Waste Disposal

5. Sanitation

6. Dust

7. Dog Health Programs

8. Emergency Management

To read the Environmental Health Needs Report click here.

To read press coverage of this report from The West Australian on May 15, please download from this link.