The NCSL Blog

03

By Doug Farquhar

Environmental health legislation addresses environmental factors that adversely impact human health or the ecological balances essential to long-term human health and environmental quality, whether in the natural or man-made environment.

Girl with dandelionNCSL tracks legislation related to environmental health that has been introduced, adopted and enacted from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

NCSL summarizes the environmental health bills covered by the state legislatures at the end of sessions. In 2015, state legislatures introduced a total of 1,809 bills related to environmental health, with 326 bills being enacted into law. Every state legislature in 2015 enacted at least one bill regarding environmental health.

The 1,809 bills introduced in 2015 related to environmental health represent a decrease over previous years. In 2014, a total of 2,794 bills were introduced in every state, D.C. and Puerto Rico, with 559 enacted.

The Environmental Health Legislation database has been divided into 10 topics:

2015 Environmental Health Legislation

Introduced

Enacted/Adopted

Asthma

58

10

Body Art/Tattoo

38

6

Drinking Water

181

42

Food Safety

516

91

Indoor Air Quality (includes mold and radon)

146

29

Pesticides (includes mosquito control)

129

18

Swimming Pools

47

8

Toxics and Chemicals (includes asbestos, lead, and mercury)

437

65

Tracking, Surveillance, and Biomonitoring

10

0

Water/Waste Water

209

42

 

Legislative Database

NCSL tracks environmental health legislation via the NCSL Environmental Health Legislative Database.

Legislators and legislative staff are able to look up bill text via our Bill Information Services (BIS). All visitors to this site may click "Bill Text Lookup" next to each state to search for specific bills on state legislative Web pages.

Doug Farquhar is program director of NCSL's Environmental Health program.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.