What is Environmental Health?

Environmental Health and You

Control of environmental conditions is becoming increasingly important to protect and maintain our health and sense of well-being. Environmental Health is the field of public health which is concerned with management of these environmental conditions.


An Environmental Health Specialist, or “sanitarian” is a public health professional who protects public health from detrimental conditions in the environment through education, consultation, and regulation.  Environmental Health Specialists are college graduates with training in public health, sanitary science, or one of the physical sciences.  An Environmental Health Specialist works with other professionals in their community to provide a safe and healthy environment.

After one year of environmental health experience, an Environmental Health Specialist is eligible to take a written examination for professional registration as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Sanitarian (REHS or RS) by the State of Minnesota.

Environmental Health Specialists Provide Expertise in:

  • Asbestos
  • Beaches and Recreational Waters
  • Climates and Health
  • Consultation
  • Disasters and Emergencies
  • Education
  • Food Service Sanitation and Food Safety
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality
  • Lead Poisoning Prevention
  • Meth Lab programs
  • Public Health Nuisance Control and Housing
  • Public Swimming Pools
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Radon
  • Recreational and Lodging Facilities
  • Schools, Day Care Centers, and other Institutions
  • Sewage Treatment and Disposal
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste
  • Water Supplies and Water Quality
  • Xray