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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NYC Environmental Public Health Tracking Portal?
The Tracking Portal is a dynamic web-based system that tracks key environmental indicators and health outcomes across NYC.

Why was the Tracking Portal created?
The New York City Health Department participates in the national Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
. The Network is an effort led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to share data and analyze trends in environmental public health across the nation.

How can the Tracking Portal be used?
  • The Tracking Portal improves access to data that can lead to public health interventions. 
  • As a resource for environmental health staff and community leaders to use with the public to answer some basic environmental health inquiries. 
  • Help target interventions for neighborhoods where data shows there are exposures to EH hazards and / or health outcomes exist that may be related to EH exposures.  
  • Timely, integrated environmental and health data at the federal, state and local levels via the national and state tracking networks will provide a basis for early notification of pending environmental events. 
  • Nationally and locally, it will help track environmental health progress. Currently, no standardized system exists for environmental health and there is a fundamental gap in our nation’s knowledge of how the environment affects health.  For example, chronic disease accounts for 70 percent of deaths in the United States. And links between certain chronic diseases and the environment have been reported, however, many of these connections remain unclear.
What data are available on the Tracking Portal?
The data comes from a variety of sources on exterior and indoor environments, as well as selected acute and chronic health outcomes that may be associated with environmental exposures. These sources include:

National Transit Database
NYC Bureau of Vital Statistics 
NYC Community Air Survey
NYC Community Health Survey 
NYC Permit and Occupancy Data
NYC Drinking Water Supply and Quality Report
NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation Data
NYC Sustainable Streets Index
NYC Food Safety and Community Sanitation Tracking System
NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey 
NYC Lead Poisoning Prevention Program 
NYC Nicotine Patch and Gum Program
NYC PlaNYC Indicator Data
NYC Poison Control Center 
NYC Planning and Land Use Tax Output 
NYC Youth Risk Behavioral Survey
NY Harbor Water Quality Survey
NY Metropolitan Transit
NYS Cancer Registry 
NYS Congenital Malformation Registry 
NYS Pesticide Sales and Use Registry 
NYS Safe Drinking Water Information System
NYS Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Census 
Center For Disease Control and Prevention 
How are data on the Tracking Portal organized?
Data are organized into 6 topic areas (PDF) with sub-topics that fall into each area.

What tools does the Tracking Portal offer users?
  • “Quick View” is a neighborhood-at-a-glance indicator summary report  comparing the selected neighborhood to its borough and the city as a whole 
  • “Map” and “Explore” data at the city, borough and neighborhood levels: 
  • “Build A Table”: combine as many measures/indicators as desired 
  • “Link Data”: create scatter plots that show the relationship between selected indicators and other indicators where a review of literature indicates there is reasonable scientific evidence that a causal relationship exists 
  • Learn more about the data by checking out About this Data
How does the Tracking Portal differ from other DOHMH resources?
  • a dynamic web-based system pulling pre-aggregated data so confidentiality is always ensured
  • Tracks key environmental indicators and health outcomes across NYC
  • Includes data from a variety of sources on exterior and indoor environments, as well as selected acute and chronic health outcomes that may be associated with environmental exposures.
What is Metadata?
Metadata is a set of information that describes each source of data on the EPHT Portal, including publishing organization, purpose, access, quality, and date range available.  Users can use key words to search Metadata to find out what data sources are available on the Portal and to learn more about them.