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Handbook of Health Equity in Environmental Public Health Practice

Environmental public health (EPH) can promote health equity by identifying populations at risk, working toward equity-promoting solutions and advocating for changes to address inequities. The traditional model of EPH practice focusing on the impact of programs at an individual level is shifting to an emerging style of practice that considers population-level impacts and solutions. This English-language resource from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control offers a collection of tools that describe how EPH intersects with the social determinants of health and health equity, as well as strategies for EPH practitioners to integrate these issues into their work. 

This handbook includes resources for exploring health equity in the context of EPH through an overview of concepts, as well as descriptions of facilitators, barriers and policy levers. It incorporates approaches for including health equity in EPH such as practice scenarios, strategies for examining organizational capacity and tools for EPH practitioners to use in their daily practice. A section on the built environment provides specific approaches for EPH practitioners working with local governments and offers context for the importance of addressing the socioenvironmental influences on health. This resource will be useful to EPH practitioners at all levels of public health (including frontline public health inspectors/environmental health officers), as well as those in management and supervisory positions (including Medical Officers of Health who have a focus in EPH programming).

Use this resource to:

  • explore how EPH and health equity intersect in public health programs;
  • support the development of skills and knowledge among EPH practitioners to address health equity;
  • examine how public health programs can address health equity within regulatory protocols and standards for EPH; and
  • advocate for services and policies to address the environmental sources of health inequities.


British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (2017). Handbook of health equity in environmental public health practice. British Columbia Centre for Disease Control: Vancouver, BC.

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Tags: Environmental health, Methods & tools, Public health unit / health authority, Socioeconomic status , Public Health Organization, Document

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