Environmental health is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. It includes the aspects of human health that are determined by physical, chemical, biological and social factors in the environment. Environmental health also works to assess and control these factors.
The Department of Health has an important role in protecting the health of Victorians from the potential health effects of environmental hazards. The department does this by:
- raising awareness of environmental hazards in the community
- providing technical guidance and advice
- informing state and national policy.
Local government employs environmental health officers to work directly with communities on environmental health issues. The department works closely with local government to support the environmental health profession.
The Environment Protection Authority is now the Victorian Government contact point for people who have health concerns that are related to pollution and waste. Links are provided to the where this is relevant.
Climate, weather and public health
The Victorian Government has a role to play in protecting the community from the effects of climate change and weather events.
Environmental health in the community
Community-wide environmental health hazards include mercury in fish, contaminated land and noise. Disease clusters can also be of concern.
Environmental health in the home
There are several potential environmental health hazards in the home, including mercury, indoor air pollution, asbestos and carbon monoxide.
Environmental health professionals
A quick reference page for environmental health professionals that includes all the information environmental health officers need for their day-to-day work.
Face masks for environmental hazards
Whether you’re protecting yourself against bushfire smoke, dust, or mould spores, it’s important to match the mask to the airborne hazard.
Human health risk assessments
Victorian Government departments and agencies play an important role in understanding and protecting Victorians from the potential health impacts of exposure to hazards in the indoor or outdoor environment.
Lead and human health
Lead is not required for human health and can be hazardous when taken into the body.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, are a group of chemicals that have been used since the 1950s in fire-fighting foams.
Pesticide use and pest control
Commercial pest control operators (PCOs) are licensed and regulated by the department.
Reviewed 23 March 2023