GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTALIST The official publication of the Georgia Environmental Health Association June 2013 In this issue: WelSTROM: A GIS Approach to Mapping Septic Systems and Private Wells Food Recalls: What You Need to Know Why It’s Difficult to Prove Environmental Causes of Cancer School Nutrition and Sustainability Biodiesel Reduces Exposure to Air Toxics ...and much more!

GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTALIST Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTALIST The official publication of the Georgia Environmental Health Association DEDICATION This issue

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  • GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTALIST The official publication of the Georgia Environmental Health Association

    June 2013

    In this issue: WelSTROM: A GIS Approach to Mapping Septic Systems and Private Wells Food Recalls: What You Need to Know Why Its Difficult to Prove Environmental Causes of Cancer School Nutrition and Sustainability Biodiesel Reduces Exposure to Air Toxics

    ...and much more!

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 2

    GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTALIST The official publication of the Georgia Environmental Health Association


    This issue of the Georgia Environmentalist is dedicated to

    James Tobe Jim Free

    Mr. Free was Senior Salesman for Infiltrator Systems,

    Inc., Legislative Representative and Past-President of the

    Georgia On-site Wastewater Association, and

    Member of Regional Water Council of Georgia.

    He will be greatly missed. Mr. Jim Free passed away in December 2012 as a result of

    injuries from an unfortunate accident on his farm. Jim was a lifelong resident of Emanuel County, GA. Jim was a graduate of Swainsboro High School, and attended Middle Georgia College and Georgia Southern University. Jim began his career as a septic system installer working with his father, and in 1988 he and his wife, Tot, started an onsite waste management system product distribution company. In 1996, Jim worked in sales at Infiltrator Systems, Inc. where he continued to work for 17 years. He served as legislative representative, President, and Past-President of the Georgia On-site Wastewater Association. He also served as a member of the Regional Water Council of Georgia, and was a dedicated supporter of the Georgia Environmental Health Association. Jim was a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher at Oak Chapel Baptist Church, and served in the National Guard for six years. Jim was a certified tree farmer and an avid bird hunter, and he was instrumental in assisting and training environmental health specialists and septic installers throughout Georgia. He also coached the Dixie Youth League baseball and David Emanuel Academy softball teams. Jim was a compassionate and generous person with many friends throughout Georgia. He will be greatly missed. Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Tot, his son Bill, his two daughters Jamie and Bonnie, and extended family.

    The Georgia Environmental Health Association, Inc.

    is a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of

    Georgia, and the recognized Georgia affiliate of the

    National Environmental Health Association.

    Membership dues are $25.00 per year.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 3


    The official publication of the Georgia Environmental Health Association

    Georgia Environmental Health Association, Inc.

    397 Eastman Hwy Hawkinsville, GA 31036

    [email protected] www.geha-online.org

    The Georgia Environmental Health Association, Inc.

    is a nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of

    Georgia, and the recognized Georgia affiliate of the

    National Environmental Health Association.

    Membership dues are $25.00 per year.

    COVER ART: This years cover art is a mosaic of photographs of septic system installation and commercial food safety inspections provided by the Georgia Onsite Wastewater Association (GOWA) and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. GOWA is a non-profit organization which represents professionals and companies in the Onsite Wastewater Management Systems. For more about GOWA, see the Spotlight on page 16.


    WellSTROM: An Approach to GIS Mapping of Septic

    Systems and Private Wells 8

    Food Recalls: What You Need to Know 10

    Why Its So Hard to Prove

    Environmental Causes of Cancer 12

    Featured Interview: Scott Uhlich 18

    School Nutrition and Sustainability 20

    Environmental Health and Pop Culture 22

    Local Biodiesel Helps Reduce Exposure

    to Air Toxics 24


    Message from the President 5

    Professional Certification 6

    GBREHP Meeting 16

    South Georgia Livin / 2013 AEC Agenda 17

    Conference Snapshots 18

    Spotlight on Environmental Health 19

    NEHA Board of Directors Update 27

    GEHA Awards and Scholarships 28

    GEHA News 29

    Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin 30

    GEHA Membership Form 34


    Volume 35

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 4


    We encourage you to write to us! Send letters to [email protected].

    The Georgia Environmental Health Association (GEHA) exists to promote

    and support the efforts of, and provide training and registration for, individuals

    working in environmental health fields in government, academia, industry and

    business. GEHA strengthens our knowledge and increases our commitment to our

    profession. Lets embrace the opportunity to meet someone new from another agency,

    industry, or academia, and build relationships and form networks that will result in

    greater success as we return to our everyday duties.

    This is the first in several years we have scheduled a multi-day conference.

    Next year, in 2014, Georgia will be the host of the Interstate Environmental Health

    Seminar. When you return to your work place, encourage your co-workers to become

    members and to get excited about GEHA.

    In our daily duties, let us make use of the knowledge and experiences gained

    through these networks as we work to improve the quality of our food, water, air and

    surroundings for our families, neighbors, visitors, and all Georgians.

    Each year, our conference would not be possible without the hard work and

    dedication of many of our members, our speakers, and our sponsors from industry.

    Thank you on behalf all the members of GEHA.

    Tad Williams

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 5

    Georgia Environmentalist


    Julia Campbell, Editor

    Faith Flack, Assistant Editor

    With special thanks to Hugh and Cathy Coleman

    For more information, please contact the following:

    Journal 404.657.6534

    Questions about GEHA [email protected]

    Membership [email protected]

    Georgia Board of Registered Environmental

    Health Professionals [email protected]

    The Georgia Environmentalist is published annually

    by the Georgia Environmental Health Association,

    Inc. (GEHA). The contents, or portions thereof, may be reprinted with permission by contacting:

    [email protected]. Publication of articles in this

    journal does not mean that GEHA endorses, condones, approves, or recommends the use of

    materials, methodology, or policies therein.

    Conclusions and opinions are those of the individual authors only, and do not necessarily reflect the

    policies or views of GEHA.


    and PHOTOS The Georgia Environmental Health Association, Inc.

    (GEHA) invites environmental health professionals,

    educators, researchers, and other persons or entities to

    submit manuscripts for possible publication in the Georgia

    Environmentalist. Original technical papers, review articles

    or reports on experiences, research, endeavors,

    management techniques, or current issues are considered.

    Guest commentaries, letters to the editor, cover art, and

    other items of interest to the readership are also

    encouraged. Authors receive no monetary compensation for

    their contributions. All material is subject to peer review.

    GEHA is also accepting photos for journal publication.

    Photos may include natural scenes of Georgia,

    photos of Environmental Health in practice. Please, no

    pictures of pets. Submit articles, letters, and photos for

    publication to: [email protected], or call

    404.657.6534 for information. If you would like to be

    added to the mailing list for this publication, you must

    become a member of GEHA. Please complete the

    membership form on page 34 or contact GEHA

    Membership at [email protected].



    President Tad Williams

    President-Elect Kathy Worthington

    Vice President Chris Rustin

    Past President Allison Strickland

    Treasurer/Finance Chad McCord

    Secretary Maggie Rickenbaker

    Kathryn Bennett Philip Cadwell

    Simone Charles Krissa Jones

    Jill Reade COMMITTEES CHAIRS Audit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Perry/Christy Blair Audio Visuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Craig Nielsen Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Krissa Jones Board Operations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hugh Coleman Clerk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cathy Coleman Constitution and Bylaws . . . . . . . . Hugh Coleman Conference Coordinator . . . . .Allison Strickland/ Dwain Butler Door Prizes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Christy Blair Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Julia Campbell Education/Scholarships . . . . . . . . . . .Dr. Ann Zimeri Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sandy Shepherd Exhibits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dwain Butler Golf Tournament . . . . .John Szymanski/David Perry Historian/GBREHP . . . . . . . . . Melinda Scarborough Legislative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Harold Barnhart Membership Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Ford DPH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chris Rustin Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Krissa Jones DNR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dominic Guadagnoli Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Carter Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Chad McCord Public Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hugh Coleman Resolutions.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chad McCord Student Affiliate. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dr. Simone Charles Silent Auction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vacant Ways and Means . . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Szymanski Website . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leslie Freymann

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 6

    Contact us and join the team! The Georgia Board of Registered Environmental Health Professionals

    397 Eastman Hwy, Hawkinsville, GA 31036

    Executive Clerk, Cathy Coleman, [email protected]

    Top 3 Reasons To Be A Registered Environmental Health Professional

    1. Professional credentials are one way of demonstrating your earned expertise and validating your

    credibility. It is a way of telling your clientele that your training and experience have enabled

    you to answer their questions and to improve their safety. In a time of continuous budget-cutting,

    it is important for our clientele to know that you have the broad-base expertise important to com-

    munity and individual health and safety.

    2. Professional credentials are a way of expressing your commitment to achieving your personal

    best for the clientele you serve. Credentials proclaim that you care, that you are on the leading

    edge of your profession and that you endeavor to stay current on emerging issues in environmen-

    tal health through continuing education.

    3. The Georgia Board of Registered Environmental Health Professionals is a growing, mentoring

    body. It offers the environmental health professional opportunities for continuing education, re-

    sponsible leadership, and job growth. Credentials make you more marketable, affording better

    flexibility, mobility and job security. Position upgrades for environmental health professionals

    are slowly being implemented throughout the state, partially as a result of the work of this Board.

    Getting the credential is just the first step. We have a lot of work to do, and we need every envi-

    ronmental health professional's participation to make environmental health in Georgia the best it

    can be.


    Those desiring to be registered as a environmental health specialist/sanitarian in Georgia shall make a written

    request to the Board to take the environmental health specialist/sanitarian examination. The application shall:

    Qualify that the applicant will possess, within 30 days after the examination and as certified by the head or

    Dean of the applicants college or university, or already possesses, a degree from a four-year accredited

    college or university with a minimum of 45 quarter hours/30 semester hours plus one algebra or higher level

    math class, with exception that those with at least four years experience as of April 2002 may qualify with 40

    quarter hours/27 semester hours of science.

    If you believe you are qualified, the first step toward becoming registered is to request an application from the

    GBREHP address listed below. Examinations are given each July in conjunction with the GEHA Annual

    Education Conference and at other times and locations under the supervision of an approved proctor. An admission

    letter will be sent prior to the exam date. Registration will depend upon the final grade attained on the examination

    and evaluation of the applicants experience.



  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 7


    efforts of, and provides training and registration for, individuals working in environmental health fields in

    government, academia, industry and business. The field of Environmental Health developed decades ago

    by successfully using the epidemiologic model for the sole purpose of preventing disease. Today,

    environmental concerns are becoming more prevalent among our citizens and, in Georgia; GEHA

    members are leaders in the field of Environmental Health.



    Inspecting and permitting on-site sewage management systems, food service establishments, tourist

    accommodations, and public swimming pools - childhood lead poisoning prevention - rabies and vector

    control - injury prevention - hazardous materials exposure investigations - epidemiologic investigations -

    indoor air quality - nuisance complaints - individual and non-public water systems - Georgia healthy




    Inspecting and permitting food products including meat, eggs and milk in grocery stores, bakeries, food

    processing plants, bottled water and soft drink bottling plants, farmers markets and meat, and seafood

    dealers - inspecting commercial scales and fuel pumps for accuracy - licensing and monitoring commercial

    nurseries, lawn care companies, exterminators, pesticides, pet and animal industries - testing dairy cattle

    and equipment - assuring proper formulation of fertilizers, pesticides, feeds and fuels - enforcing fair

    standards in the purchase of grain and livestock - monitoring the health of livestock in the state as well as

    those imported into Georgia.



    The college of agricultural and environmental sciences promotes economic viability and global

    competitiveness of Georgia agriculture, fosters environmental stewardship and wise management of

    natural resources, and ensures the production and distribution of safe food, feed and fiber.


    To provide baccalaureate and graduate education in agricultural and environmental sciences that

    promotes excellence in student achievement and prepares students to effectively contribute and

    excel in a changing world;

    To inquire into the nature of agriculture and the environment, through the discovery,

    interpretation and creative application of knowledge;

    To serve the public through timely education of producers, consumers and agribusiness using

    relevant, accurate and unbiased research-based information, and

    To improve the quality of life through youth development and life-long education.


    Georgia business and industry support and encourage a wide variety of environmental leadership

    initiatives. They share a commitment to the environment based on the principle that they shall conduct

    business in ways that protect and preserve our environment. Furthermore, they promote a philosophy of

    shared responsibility, where all participants in the supply chain accept responsibility for the environmental

    impacts occurring in their specific part of the chain. Working together with suppliers, customers,

    regulators and other environmental partners, Georgia business and industry achieve an effective balance

    between responsible environmental and economic stewardship.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 8

    ~ GEHA GEAR ~ Purchase GEHA Logo shirts and pins in time

    for next years Annual Education Conference! GEHA Logo Polo Shirts $20.00

    GEHA Logo Lapel Pins $3.00

    GBREHP Logo Pins $5.00

    Send order and check made payable to GEHA at: Georgia Environmental Health Association

    397 Eastman Parkway

    Hawkinsville, GA 31036

    [email protected]


    Check out our website at


    to get valuable information about GEHA

    Membership Send in the membership form and you will get the

    official publication of GEHA, Georgia Environmentalist, a discount on annual education conference registration, GEHA publications, voting

    privileges in GEHA, and much more!

    Conferences The 2014 GEHA Annual Education Conference is

    a great place to network with peers, attend interactive educational seminars, and get your continuing education credits. Contact GEHA for

    more information!

    Professional Registration Professional credentials are one way of telling your clientele that your training and experience have enabled you to answer their questions and

    improve their safety. The Georgia Board of Registered Environmental Health Professionals

    offers opportunities for internationally recognized registration, continuing education, responsible

    leadership, and job growth.

    In addition, the website contains:

    Pictures from the annual conference

    Environmental health links

    Award recipients

    GEHA publications

    Details about the UK Partnership agreement

    Over 30 documents (including lists of certified tank installers and pumpers, study guides, product approval documents, committee reports, rules and regulations, educational materials, and much more!).

    GEHA is always open to comments or suggestions for improving the website.

    Please direct all comments to: [email protected].



    Advertise in the Georgia Environmentalist

    and increase your business potential!

    Journal Advertising Rates $1500 - Full page ad, recognition at annual

    conference, banner at golf tournament

    $500 - Full page

    $250 -1/2 page

    $125 - 1/4 page

    $75 - 1/8 page

    $50 - 1/12 page (business card size)

    If you would like to advertise in the Georgia Environmentalist,

    please contact Julia Campbell, Editor at:





    1 The advertisement of any product in the Georgia

    Environmentalist does not constitute an endorsement of

    said product by the journal or by the Georgia

    Environmental Health Association, Inc.

    2 Advertisers alone are responsible for all performance

    claims which are made for any advertised products.

    3 The Board of Directors reserves the right to reject any

    advertisement by returning all copy and any fees paid.

    4 Fees collected for advertisements are incorporated into the

    general funds of the Georgia Environmental Health

    Association, Inc.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 9

    WelSTROM: A GIS Approach to Mapping

    Septic System and Private Well Locations by Chris Strom

    While out on the front lines where

    regulation and residents meet, it is easy to get

    involved in the day-to-day work and forget

    about the picture being painted with the data

    we gather and record. The Well and Septic

    Tank Referencing and Online Mapping

    (WelSTROM) project by Southern Georgia

    Regional Commission is aimed at making that

    picture much more clear and accessible to

    environmental health staff and others across

    the state. The WelSTROM project is about

    gathering information about private well and

    septic system installations from multiple

    sources, and publishing that data in an online,

    i n t e r a c t i v e m a p , a v a i l a b l e a t


    This project began as a partnership between

    the South Health District and Southern Georgia

    Regional Commission in 2007 with 319(h)

    funding. It has since grown to other health

    districts across Georgia with funding from the

    Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the

    Coastal Nonpoint Source Program, and the

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric

    Association. Project partners now also include

    the University of Georgia Marine Extension,

    Southeast Health District, and Coastal Health

    District. Today, the WelSTROM project

    includes information from 136 counties for

    private well, septic system, and other decision-

    supporting layers available from Digital Health

    Department records thanks to the cooperation

    from the Georgia Department of Public Health

    (DPH), Environmental Health Section.

    U s i n g t h e

    WelSTROM online

    m a p p i n g

    a p p l i c a t i o n ,

    environmental and

    health officials are

    able to see current

    well and septic

    system installations

    in a spatial context.

    Each well or

    system mapped in

    WelSTROM includes a Get Report link that

    takes the user directly to that record in the

    Digital Health Department database. In many

    counties across southern Georgia, other layers

    of information relevant to the permitting

    decision process such as wetlands, flood zones,

    and parcel boundaries are available. Using the

    WelSTROM application, users can search for

    systems details, explore performance records,

    and customize text and spatial searches.

    Beyond its querying capabilities, website users

    can also create their own bookmarks, search

    for addresses, measure areas and distances,

    toggle layers, and print their own maps.

    While the mapping web application delivers

    the most widely recognized benefits of this

    project, there is just as much value in what the

    WelSTROM project means to planners and

    environmental professionals at the local,

    regional, and state levels.

    WelSTROM application now hosts well and septic system

    data for 136 counties in Georgia

    Chris Strom is currently the Director of Information Services for the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC). Prior to this position, Chris served as Geographic Information Services Director. Chris has had a long working history with the SGRC spanning 23 years. While working for SGRC, Chris has developed and implemented GIS mapping solutions to local governments in Georgia.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 10

    WellSTROM: A GIS Approach to Mapping Septic System and Private Well Locations, continued...

    Users can search using property owner names, date ranges or even conduct spatial searches through drawing a graphic on the screen to delineate an area of interest. The results of these searches can be explored record by record or be exported to a MS Excel format and stored on the users computer.

    Chris Strom Information Services Director

    Southern Georgia Regional Commission 116 McKey St

    Valdosta, GA 31601 (229) 242-1988

    For the first time, an entire state of on-site sewage

    disposal systems are accessible from one single

    resource; and because of this, data can be leveraged

    to support decisions and analysis well beyond the

    daily routine of permits and inspections. For exam-

    ple, municipalities can begin to use this data to

    identify where public system expansions could be

    most efficient and effective. Additionally, complex

    spatial analysis can be performed in a geographic

    information system to support the needs of re-

    source focused professionals to identify areas sus-

    ceptible to increased pollution from concentrations

    of on-site sewage disposal systems. Imagination is

    the only limit to how this information can now be

    applied to decision making.

    How WelSTROM leverages permit and inspec-

    tion data to help answer questions can be summed

    up by the old saying everything has to be some-

    where, and with the disposal system inspection

    records provided by health districts, a more com-

    plete picture is being assembled of the balance be-

    tween humans and our resources. The more data

    we have in this picture, the better our decisions can

    be about regulations, resources, growth, and other

    actions we take in the future.


    The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) is a unique 2-year post-graduate training program of service and

    on-the-job learning for health professionals interested in the practice of applied epidemiology.

    Since 1951, over 3,000 EIS officers have responded to requests for epidemiologic assistance within the

    United States and throughout the world. EIS officers are on the public health frontlines, conducting epide-

    miologic investigations, research, and public health surveillance both nationally and internationally.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 11

    Food Recalls: What You Need to Know by Jessica Holthaus

    FOOD RECALL two words

    t h a t h a v e i m m e d i a t e

    consequences. Every day around

    the world, food products are

    recalled for a variety of different

    reasons. Here in Georgia, recalls

    can impact our states food

    distribution system on a

    wholesale level, retail level and

    even directly to the end user/


    Maybe a product is being recalled because its label

    failed to include information about ingredients that

    could cause a harmful reaction in people with certain

    food allergies; maybe something happened during food

    production that caused the product to become

    adulterated with a hard or sharp foreign object (such as

    metal or glass); or maybe that ready-to-eat product you

    grabbed for dinner last night was contaminated with a

    foodborne pathogen (such as Salmonella or E.coli).

    Georgias Food Safety Division

    At the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA),

    our Food Safety Division administers state laws, rules

    and regulations for all food processors, retail and

    wholesale grocery stores and retail seafood stores.

    These food establishments are all required to obtain an

    annual license. Within the division, program managers,

    inspectors and support staff all work together for

    Georgia residents to help ensure product recalls are

    addressed quickly and efficiently.

    In fiscal year 2012, there were 114 food recalls that

    directly impacted Georgia. This was up slightly from

    FY2011 (103 recalls) but down from FY2010 (141

    recalls). Since recalls happen, on average, once every

    three days, what exactly does this mean to the average


    Recall Classifications

    It is important to realize that not all recalls are the

    same. There are three levels, or classifications, for how

    a recall is addressed. This tiered system was

    established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

    and is applied to every recalled product within the

    United States. Classifications are made on a case-by-

    case basis, depending upon the circumstances and risk,

    because each situation surrounding a food recall can be


    Class I A Class I recall is the

    most serious; it is a situation

    where there is a reasonable

    probability that the use of, or

    exposure to, a violative product

    will cause serious adverse

    health consequences or death

    to anyone consuming it.

    Examples of a Class I recall

    can include foodborne pathogens

    found in food products; for

    example, if there is a positive test for Listeria

    monocytogens in certain ready-to-eat foods; if

    Salmonella is found in ready-to-eat food, pet food or

    pet treats; or the toxin Clostridium botulinum is found

    in food. Class I recalls also apply to foods containing

    any undeclared ingredient (i.e., not specifically listed

    on the label) containing proteins derived from milk,

    egg, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, peanuts or soybeans.

    These ingredients are all allergens and must be listed

    as a specified warning on the label to notify persons

    with food allergies of potentially dangerous


    Class II A Class II recall is still considered serious,

    but less so than a Class I. In this situation, use of, or

    exposure to, a violative product may cause

    temporary or medically reversible adverse health

    consequences, where the probability of serious

    adverse health consequences is remote.

    Examples of a Class II recall include undeclared

    coloring agents FD&C Yellow No. 5, which is an

    additive commonly used in butter, cheese and ice-

    cream products, or histamine in seafood products.

    Class II recalls would also be applied to products that

    have been adulterated with hard or sharp foreign

    objects during the processing or packaging phase, such

    as plastic, metal or glass.

    Class III A Class III recall will generally be the least

    serious of any recalls. In this situation, while the

    product is being recalled, use of, or exposure to, this

    violative product is not likely to cause adverse

    health consequences.

    Examples of a Class III recall might include

    product decomposition or filth (that does not result in

    health hazards), or products that are unfit for

    consumption due to an off-color or off-taste (but again,

    do not pose a hazard to health). This could also include

    minor labeling issues that do not apply to allergen


    Inspection for prevention of Class I hazard

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 12

    Up-to-Date Recall Information When a recall happens, what should you do? How do you

    know if that recall might affect your home kitchen,

    restaurants where you eat or in your place of business?

    There are several ways to determine if the product is, in fact,

    one of the products being recalled. Food products include

    many numbers on their labels some help manufacturers

    track inventory, while others help retailers ensure quality

    and when unsafe products must be removed from the

    market, these numbers and dates can help identify them

    quickly. For high-risk products (usually Class I and

    sometimes Class II), FDA and UDSA will post information

    for regulators, industry and consumers on its website,

    including: The product(s) name and brand name, lot codes

    or plant numbers, expiration or other dates, product photos

    and company contact information.

    When the GDA gets notice of a recall (which will be

    issued either by FDA or USDA), we notify partner agencies

    across Georgia to help spread the word. For example, we

    may need to make sure convenience stores that sell ready-to-

    eat foods are aware of the recall, we may contact school

    nutrition directors who can let school cafeterias know, or

    food banks who may need to share the information with

    their various distributors. GDA Food Safety Inspectors are

    also notified; if they are in a facility where the product might

    be found (for example, a baked good item under recall,

    distributed to a particular grocery store chain), the inspector

    will look through the facility to confirm that the product is

    not on store shelves has been withheld from sale, ensuring

    the product cannot be distributed into the food chain any


    When in doubt, throw it out!

    If you think a product might be part of a recall, visit

    www.fda.gov/safety/recalls or www.fsis.usda.gov/

    Fsis_Recalls and look for the product by name. If you see

    the product, there will be a link with more information on

    how to return the product; if you dont see the product listed

    but are still unsure about whether its safe to consume, do

    not eat it.

    There are several ways you can get additional

    information about a product in question. You can contact the

    manufacturer that made the product, or visit or call the store

    where you purchased the product. GDA Food Safety

    officials are also on hand to help answer questions, listen to

    concerns and receive product complaints. Contact the GDA

    Food Safety Consumer Complaint line at 404-656-3621

    during normal business hours. The complaint coordinator

    receives consumer concerns involving unsanitary conditions

    and food handling practices for retail and manufactured food

    facilities and products in the state, as well as coordinate the

    GDAs responsibilities during the investigation of foodborne

    illness outbreaks.

    If you have a mobile smartphone or tablet device, you

    may be able to download an application that provides recall

    information directly to your device, learn more at

    www.recalls.gov. In the event of a major recall (such as a

    Class I recall that includes multiple products in multiple

    states), FDA or USDA may create a special website and

    other resources that will assist Georgians in accessing quick,

    relevant information about products affected by the recall.

    You can find immediate recall notifications for Georgia on

    Twitter at www.twitter.com/GDAFoodSafety and learn more

    about the Food Safety Division at www.agr.georgia.gov/


    Jessica Holthaus Recall Outreach Specialist

    Food Safety Division Georgia Department of Agriculture

    19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Atlanta, GA 30334

    Food Recalls: What You Need to Know, Continued

    The Georgia Department of Agriculture, along with the Departments of Transportation and Economics, initiated an Agritourism Program in the state of Georgia.

    Agritourism road signs provide tourists unique opportunities to enjoy Georgias resources and companies as they travel the roads. For more information, go to: http://georgiagrown.com/activities/agri-tourism


  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 13

    Why Its So Hard to Prove

    Environmental Causes of Cancer

    by Jane Perry, MPH

    As early as 1775, a London physician found a

    significant incidence of scrotal cancer among young

    chimney sweeps. They'd been working naked

    because that made it easier to get through a narrow

    chimney. Carcinogenic coal dust worked into parts

    of the body where it could linger. Other historical

    examples of work-related cancer clusters are well

    documented in the medical literature including skin

    cancer in farmers, mesothelioma from asbestos used

    in shipbuilding during World War II and in

    manufacturing, and leukemia and lymphoma in

    chemical products workers exposed to benzene.

    Cancer clusters are defined as an occurrence of a

    greater than expected number of cases of cancer

    within a group of people, defined geographic

    location, or a time period. Cancer clusters can result

    from a variety of causes, and in many cases an

    environmental agent is suspected. Investigation of a

    suspected cancer cluster usually starts when a

    concerned citizen reports a perceived excess of

    cancer cases among his/her family members or


    Each year, staff from the Georgia Department of

    Public Healths Comprehensive Cancer Control

    Program (GCCP) and Chemical Hazards Program

    (CHP) receive dozens of cancer cluster inquiries

    from Georgia residents. In response, GCCP and

    CHP drafted a cancer cluster investigation protocol

    to conduct a coordinated response to reports that

    include specific concerns about environmental

    exposures, and help educate citizens about

    environmental exposures and the resulting risk of

    developing cancer.

    A cluster is more likely to be "genuine" if the case

    consists of one type of cancer, a rare type of cancer,

    or a type of cancer that is not usually found in a

    certain age group. Before we can assess a suspected

    cancer cluster accurately, we must determine

    whether the type(s) of cancer involved is a primary

    cancer or a cancer that has metastasized (spread

    from another organ). This is important to know

    because only the primary cancer is considered. We

    also determine whether the suspected exposure has

    the potential to cause the reported cancer based on

    what is known about that cancers likely causes, and

    about the cancer-causing potential of the exposure.

    Epidemiologists must also determine if the cancer

    cases could have occurred by chance. This is done

    by using mathematical measures to test for the

    "statistical significance" of the difference between




    STEP 1

    Each request is first classified as having or not

    having an environmental component. If no suspected

    exposure to environmental contamination is

    mentioned during the initial complaint, the resident

    is asked if there are any known potential sources of

    environmental contamination in the area. State and

    federal Superfund site lists are examined for known

    sites and chemicals released into the environment

    within a 3-mile radius.

    If no site(s) exists as potential source(s) for exposure

    to known/suspected human carcinogens, CHP staff

    will refer client to GCCR as outlined in STEP 3.

    CHP sends a letter to client summarizing

    environmental investigation results, along with

    appropriate educational materials and GCCR referral


    If site(s)/releases are a potential source for exposure

    to carcinogen(s), proceed to STEP 2.

    STEP 2

    The geographic area is investigated by assessing

    exposure pathways, toxicology of the specific

    chemicals of concern, and determining the worst

    case scenario for human exposure:

    1) Research Toxicological Profiles or other

    sources (reference all sources);

    2) Contact GEPD or EPA compliance officer

    for site-specific information, history of

    community concerns, and environmental

    data, and

    3) Identify and evaluate health outcome data

    (GCCR cancer data, demographics, etc.)

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 14

    Why Its So Hard to Prove Environmental Causes of Cancer, Continued

    If no human exposure pathway(s) exist, proceed to

    STEP 3. CHP sends a letter to client summarizing

    environmental investigation results, along with

    appropriate educational materials and GCCR referral


    If human exposure pathway(s) exist, proceed to

    STEP 4.

    STEP 3

    GCCR sends data tables and a form letter to the


    If no elevated rates or number of cases are identified,

    formal investigation ends; however, CHP may

    continue with community involvement and education


    If GCCR determines that there is a statistically

    significant incidence (or number of cases) for one or

    more types of cancer proceed to STEP 4.

    STEP 4

    GCCR may conduct a cancer cluster investigation

    following protocol in the agencys Cancer Cluster

    Investigation Manual . An epidemiologic

    investigation may be conducted by federal, state, and/

    or local agenc(ies) and partners.

    If human exposure pathway(s) to environmental

    contaminants exist, CHP may conduct a health

    consultation and continues with community

    involvement and education activities.


    Cancer rates for counties and health districts in

    Georgia are available from the Georgia

    Comprehensive Cancer Registry (GCCR). The

    GCCR is a participating registry in the National

    Program for Cancer Registries (NPCR), administered

    by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Cancer mortality and morbidity data is available at


    Jane Perry, MPH Director, Chemical Hazards Program

    Environmental Health Section Georgia Department of Public Health 2 Peachtree Street NW, 13th Floor

    Atlanta, Georgia 30303 404-657-6534

    [email protected]

    In an effort to help curb Georgia's homeless pet population, specialty vehicle license plates are now available at county tag offices statewide. Sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the commemorative license plates, which feature a dog and cat depicted against a Georgia peach, can be purchased for a one-time $25 fee when motorists renew their vehicle registrations. Proceeds will provide funding for GDA's Dog and Cat Sterilization Program. This critical program provides reimbursements to licensed and accredited veterinarians who perform spay/neuter procedures. Proceeds from the program also will provide educational outreach on the healthy choice of spaying and neutering pets. The Humane Association of Georgia and other partners lauded the program, which fills a critical need in reducing Georgia's homeless dog and cat populations. In fact, animal overpopulation costs taxpayers millions each year.

    Every year, thousands of dogs and cats must be killed in shelters throughout Georgia because they have no home. The Dog and Cat Sterilization License Plate can help change this, as well as saving money and lives by reducing the number of animals being housed and killed in animal shelters.

    "Sales of these commemorative license plates will provide the vital funding needed to help us control Georgia's homeless pet population," said Commissioner Tommy Irvin. "We encourage Georgians to support this much-needed program by buying Dog and Cat Sterilization License Plates for their vehicles."


  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 15

    Annual Meeting of the





    The GBREHP Annual Business Meeting was held in Macon, Georgia on February 15, 2013.

    Educational Program:

    The State of the State, Scott Uhlich, MCP, Director, Environmental Health Section

    Georgia Department of Public Health

    State Environmental Health Strike Team and Emergency Preparedness

    Ryan Jones

    Environmental Health Services Branch, CDC

    Food Safety and Defense at the 2012 Conventions

    Kim Livesy

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    Program Updates: Status and Direction of the Georgia Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention

    Program Christy Kuriatnyk, MSPH, Director, Georgia Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Georgia Department of Public Health

    For more information on becoming registered, please see instructions on page 6, contact us on Facebook, or email

    [email protected].

    NEWLY CERTIFIED MEMBERS The GEHA Board of Directors and Members congratulate individuals for completing the

    Environmental Health Specialist/Sanitarian Registration Program in 2012.

    Scott Uhlich Tamika Pridgon Dwain Butler Wendell Howell

    Lance Dasher


    GEHA Membership is only $10/year!

    With your student membership you get:

    -A subscription to GEHAs official publication, Georgia Environmentalist

    -Reduced price registration for the GEHA Annual Education Conference

    -Scholarship and mentorship opportunities

    -Committee internship opportunities

    NEW NEW GEHA on Facebook

    Like the GEHA Facebook Page, or

    Join the GEHA Members Group through your

    Facebook profile.

    Enjoy the convenience of connecting with your

    friends and colleagues. Share your favorite

    Environmental Health photos, videos, and other

    links with other GEHA members.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 16

    2013 GEHA ANNUAL



    June 6-7, 2013

    Welcome and Presidents Address Tad Williams, Georgia Department of Public Health

    Regional Approach to OSSM Planning Chris Kumnick, Land Use Program Director Georgia Department of Public Health

    WelStrom and Public Health: A GIS Approach to Land Use Planning Chris Strom, Information Services Director, Southern Georgia Regional Commission

    Seafood: From Ocean to Retail Dominic Guadagnoli, Shellfish Program Leader, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Sandy Shepherd, Shellfish Program Leader, Georgia Department of Agriculture

    NEHA United Kingdom Sabbatical Project Julia Campbell, M.P.H., Healthy Homes Program Consultant, Environmental Health Section, Georgia Department of Public Health

    Legionella Outbreak Investigation at Hotel: Lessons Learned Todd Driver, District Environmental Health Director, Coastal Health District

    Georgia Department of Agriculture Preparedness Updates Vanessa Sims-Greene, Director of Emergency Management, Georgia Department of Agriculture

    Local Environmental Health Response to Tornados Christy Blair, Environmental Health Manager, Gordon County Health Department John Klepper, Environmental Health Manager, Catoosa County Health Department

    ...And much more!

    South Georgia Livin by Tamika Pridgon, R.E.H.S.

    Each region of Georgia has its endearing qualities, but I am partial to south Georgia living. From the weeping willows shrouded in moss to the magnificent wildlife, south Georgia offers numerous activities for residents and visitors. The tranquil scenery can be enjoyed by lovers of nature who partake in walking trails or bird watching. For the more active individual, sporting activities such as hunting and fishing offers many hours of enjoyment. South Georgia has something to offer for everyone ready to enjoy the outdoors as long as you can handle the gnats. Another perk of living in south Georgia is the slow pace. After living in Atlanta for 10 years with the hustle and bustle, returning home was welcomed. In south Georgia when someone says across town here, it literally means across town which is generally a 5 to 10 minute drive. In Atlanta, the term across town means a minimum of a thirty minute drive in good traffic. However, some south Georgians take the slow pace to the extreme. These individuals are who I refer to as creepers. When following a creeper, the best thing to do is sit back and enjoy the scenery. In regards to working in south Georgia, environmental health is approached from a different angle. During and after training, Environmental Health Specialists for the most part are treated as generalists. We are expected to be familiar with every service offered by Environmental Health, and because the field of Environmental Health covers several programs, this task can be quite daunting at times. Also, the fast pace in which public health is ever evolving, and therefore the task of familiarizing oneself with revised or new rules and regulations is more of a challenge. These challenges are tackled head on to keep Georgians and its visitors safe. One drawback of working in south Georgia, just as elsewhere, is the lack of resources to overcome language barriers. Language barriers further complicate the process of educating restaurant employees on a topic in which they may be unfamiliar, and finding literature that correctly explains a process can be difficult because it may be from another state with slightly different rules and regulations. Also in south Georgia, translators are limited. In these cases, the individual is responsible for finding a translator. Even with these challenges, Environmental Health Specialists continue to promote and protect public health. Living and working in south Georgia, as with any location, has its advantages and disadvantages. The pace of south Georgia is not for everyone; however while some consider south Georgia a nice place to visit and relax, for me south Georgia is home.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 17


    GEHA 2012 Conference was held at the Georgia Farm Bureau in Macon, GAGEHA 2012 Conference was held at the Georgia Farm Bureau in Macon, GA

    Left: Award winner Melinda Scarborough receives a GEHA Honorary Membership and

    Meritous Service award. Middle: Krissa Jones receives GEHA Member of the Year award.

    Right: Past President Allison Strickland receives the Past-Presidents gavel from

    2012-2013 GEHA President Tad Williams.

    Left: Allison Strickland presents speaker gift to Peggy Gates.

    Middle left: Kathy Worthington presents speaker gift to William Hurst, PhD.

    Middle right: Kathy Worthington presents the speaker gift to Brian Bossack, PhD.

    Right: Dwain Butler presents speaker gift to Chris Kumnick.

    GEHA attendees speaker presentations.

    Right: Chris Kumnick discusses important business with President Tad Williams while

    Galen Baxter, Wen Howell, and Ramona Carney look on.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 18


    Georgia Onsite Wastewater Association

    John Ford, President

    P.O. Box 1928

    Duluth, Georgia 30096


    The Georgia Onsite Wastewater Association is the state-wide professional association which represents all those individuals and companies who are engaged in the design, sales, installation, maintenance, service and repair and regulation of individual onsite wastewater treatment systems for residential, commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers. GOWA, formed in 1997, has over 400 members throughout the state of

    Georgia. The membership is composed of a great diversity in sizes of member firms from the very large contractors to the very small family owned businesses. Regardless of the size, GOWA represents the professionals in the industry who have a genuine interest in improving the industry for the customer and all those involved in the industry on a daily basis. GOWA's goal is to promote quality and professionalism in the individual onsite wastewater industry in the state of Georgia and the demonstration of a genuine concern for the safety, and health of our customers by providing quality services. GOWA provides continuing education, networking opportunities, and legislative lobbying activities for the onsite wastewater system professionals across Georgia.

    2013 GOALS

    GOWA strives to promote a common goal within the Onsite Wastewater Management Systems industry among businesses, and between business and public health.

    In 2013, GOWA is planning to achieve this by:

    Providing Continuing education for both systems installers and environmental health specialists

    Holding conferences in tandem with

    GEHA to attract new membership


    2013: SEPTAGE DISOPOSAL SURVEY to show gaps in land application needs.


    2008: HB 596 PROHIBITING SEPTIC SYSTEMS USE NOT PASSED. This allowed continued use of septic systems.

    2006: SB 578 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING between the Environmental Protection Division and the Health Department for commercial pumper truck inspections.

    2005: HB207 PASSED licensure under this chapter shall not be required for a contractor certified by the Department of Human Resources to make the connection to any on-site waste-water management system from the stub out exiting the structure to an on-site waste-water management system

    2005: STUDY COMMITTEE CREATED to review issues with land application; oversight moved to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 19


    SCOTT A. UHLICH, MCP Georgia Department of Public Health

    GEHA: What are your favorite things about Georgia? Scott Uhlich: Ive always enjoyed Georgias natural resources and the outdoors. Few states have mountains and

    beaches, the abundance of state parks, and recreational facilities.

    GEHA: What, in your opinion, will be the most important environmental health issues over the next

    few years? Scott Uhlich: We are beginning to see some states break apart environmental health as a comprehensive public

    health program and assign individual programs to other state agencies or privatize them. These states view

    environmental health programs as permitting and inspection activities because they do not understand the public

    health relevance of the programs. It will be very important for us to reinforce the public health reasons these

    programs exist and the importance they play to the foundation of public health.

    GEHA: What can other residents do to help improve Georgias environment? Scott Uhlich: I think the first thing residents can do is with their personal activities and home environment.

    Maintain your property free from litter, debris, and standing water; protect your well and test your well water

    annually; properly use and maintain your septic system; properly dispose of paints and chemicals; recycle materials

    to reduce waste, and use chemicals and pesticides in the environment sparingly and properly.

    GEHA: What can other residents do to help improve Georgias environment?

    Scott Uhlich: When I took over the Environmental Health Section, the program was facing budget cuts, high

    employee turnover, and lack of support from leadership. Over the last five years, the state Environmental Health

    Program Directors and Environmental Health District Directors have worked to develop and implement a

    comprehensive workforce development plan and career ladder aimed at achieving and maintaining a competent

    Environmental Health workforce. This was approved by leadership in February, 2013.

    The Environmental Health Information System (EHIS) is very important to the future of the Environmental

    Health program. This system allows us to assess the quality of our programs so we can continue to focus our

    activities on areas needing improvement. We have implemented and are utilizing EHIS data to evaluate program

    performance and inform leadership of Environmental Health achievements. As a result, Environmental Health now

    has data to share with leadership and decision makers to education and garner support for Environmental Health

    programs. The new leadership with the new Department of Public Health considers the Environmental Health

    Programs as essential, core public health programs.

    Continued next page...

    Scott A. Uhlich is Director of Environmental Health for the Georgia Department of Public Health. Mr. Uhlich is responsible for directing the activities of the Environmental Health Section including

    the Land Use Program; Food Service Program; Tourist Accommodations Program; Public

    Swimming Pool Program; Chemical Hazards Program; and the Healthy Homes/Childhood Lead

    Poisoning Prevention Program. Mr. Uhlich has 33 years of experience working in environmental

    health programs and is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. He began work as a County

    Environmental Health Specialist in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Mr. Uhlich also worked as District

    Environmental Health Director for the Northeast Health District, Athens, Georgia. He has received

    the Georgia Public Health Association Environmentalist of the Year and the Sellers-McCroan Awards. Mr. Uhlich has a

    Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health Science from the University of Georgia and a Masters Degree in City

    Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 20

    GEHA: In 2008, you received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Watershed

    Management award for adopting voluntary guidelines to protect national waterways.

    Congratulations! Then in 2008-2009, you completed the Environmental Public Health Leadership

    Institute program. Congratulations, again! What were your projects, and how did they influence your


    Scott Uhlich: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognition was for the changes Georgia achieved

    related to the management of on-site sewage management systems. At that time, Georgia was one of seven states

    that had achieved this recognition. This work included the adoption of new regulations, a new comprehensive

    manual, a certification program for contractors and environmental health specialists, and creation of a technical

    advisory committee. The recognition was the result of the work of many individuals, especially the work of county

    Environmental Health Specialists, and shows what can be achieved when we work together at all levels of the

    organization. The result is on-site sewage systems functioning properly and functioning longer to better protect

    state waters.

    My interest in the Public Health Leadership Program started with a concept called Systems Thinking.

    During this program, environmental health performance standards were discussed and a trial assessment tool based

    on the ten essential public health services was presented. With the help of State and District Environmental Health

    Directors, we began an assessment of the Georgia Environmental Health Program utilizing the Environmental

    Health Performance Standards Instrument. From that initial assessment, the Environmental Health leadership have

    developed performance standards for each Environmental Health program based on public health metrics,

    developed a workforce development plan and career ladder, developed an annual Environmental Health

    Assessment Report to inform leadership, policy makers, and the general public about environmental health

    achievements, and enhanced our partnerships with other state, federal, and local agencies which has resulted in

    greater cooperation and communication.

    GEHA: What is the most rewarding to you about your work?

    Scott Uhlich: I have always enjoyed the variety of the work, the changing challenges, and being able to work

    independently. As I began managing, I enjoyed the mentoring of new Environmental Health Specialists, and

    helping them advance their careers. I feel that I e made some positive impacts to the quality of life for the people

    and communities Ive served. In general, Ive been fortunate to work with great people throughout my career.

    GEHA: Who have been the major influences in your life?

    Scott Uhlich: When I started managing others, my father told me to surround myself with smart people and dont

    be afraid of hiring someone who may know more than you. I have followed that advice and have always believed

    in a participatory style of management.

    GEHA: Do you have any advice that youd like to give to the members of GEHA? Scott Uhlich: Georgia Public Health has an aging leadership, and many opportunities for advancement are

    occurring. The new leadership will be comprised of those individuals who invest in themselves by becoming

    registered Environmental Health specialists and obtaining advanced degrees.

    GEHA: How can we best teach children about environmental and agricultural issues? Scott Uhlich: The best way to teach is lead by example. Properly dispose of waste, recycle and use products

    properly by following directions. Use opportunities to talk to community groups, classrooms, boys and girls clubs,

    or other groups and discussing how everyday environmental health activities affect their daily lives.

    Scott Uhlich Interview, continued...

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 21

    School Nutrition and Sustainability by Tonya Gray, M.P.A., R.S.

    The term sustainability has different meanings to different audiences, but the common definition is being responsible in using what resources you have today so future generations will have what they will need. This is summed up in a statement Protecting the Future of Those We Serve which is a mission statement printed on the front of a wonderful booklet Sustainability in School Nutrition Programs. It was compiled by Melinda Scarborough when she was working with the Georgia Department of Education just before her retirement after many years of great service in environmental health. Melinda is known by environmentalists for her many years of great work in environmental health as an environmentalist in the field to the state Food Service Program director in the state office. Before she retired she became very passionate about sustainability which was clear when she presented the work of the School Nutrition Programs making this happen in the schools in Georgia. The first step that the booklet suggests is that school nutrition programs create a vision and Take Stock by evaluating and finding ways to be sustainable, stating that even small changes add up. The next step is Conserving Energy with suggestions about how to accomplish energy conservation. This step includes a Georgia success story where Glynn county schools saved $35,000 by turning off water heaters and all lights in winter break 2008 compared to winter break 2007 with these items left on. Gwinnett County won the Green Ribbon District and leads the nation for K-12

    certified building space with more than 23 million square feet of Energy Star certified areas. The third step is Conserving Water such as turning on water only when in use, repairing faulty plumbing, and installing flow reducers and faucet aerators to name a few and gives a success story of Elizabethtown College. The fourth step is the three Rs-Reduce (waste), Reuse-(not using disposable tableware), and Recycle-(if you use disposable tableware). At the Georgia Department of Education Equipment University in Tifton, Georgia spring 2012, a recycle digester (pulper) using minimal amounts of water and

    blades to convert food and disposables into tiny pieces which reduces landfill amounts was onsite to allow participants to view its magical results. A few schools in Georgia that use disposables in their cafeterias actually have this equipment for part of their trash disposal process, for example Stephens County High School and in Chatham County. This is a wonderful innovation to reduce landfill volume and save water by not running the dishwasher. In Moultrie, Georgia at Colquitt County High School they use ThermoCompactor units to melt down the Styrofoam trays used to serve meals each day. The block of melted material is then used to make items such as

    flower pots & pencils. The fifth step is to Make Some Fuel by converting used cooking oil/grease into biofuel and gives regulations that oversee that process and how to find buyers to make that happen. The Lovett School, winner of The Spirit of the Green Award from the Georgia Recycling Coalition used a mini refinery on campus and produced 1,056 gallons of biodiesel fuel as of April 2009.

    Below Left: Pulper used by Stephens County. Below Right: Extractor which removes moisture from waste before disposal.

    Tonya Gray, M.P.A., R.S. is a Food Safety and Security Specialist for the School Nutrition Program at the Georgia Department of Education. Tonya has worked for the state of Georgia for a total of 28 years, first with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and then for the Georgia Department of Public Health. Tonya is an active member of the International Association of Food Protection, and Past President of both the Georgia Environmental Health Association (2004-2005) and the Georgia Association for Food Protection (2008-2009), and was the winner of the Georgia Environmental Health Association Member of the Year in 2007.

    A Wauka Mountain Multiple Intelligencies Academy

    student holds freshly grown vegetables in Hall County.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 22

    The next several steps listed move toward successes in the Farm to School program with the sixth step being Feed the Worms via composting. Bleckley County third graders get produce scraps from their school cafeteria in a bucket that is left for them to pick up and return once they empty it into the compost barrel. The compost bin was donated to them by local farmers and has a handle that the students can rotate the compost themselves. They use the compost in their school garden. In Ha-bersham County at Wilbanks Middle School, the Agri-culture teacher, Catrina Pollard started composting for the school garden. The students help by placing com-post cans in the dish room line. The seventh step is to Buy Local foods from local farmers. This saves fuel costs in transport as well as increased nutrition for the students for fresh produce consumption. Gilmer County schools purchased Ellijay apples in 2008/2009; Bleckley, Colquitt and Hall Counties participat-ed in the Feed My School for a Week program in 2012, where they served 75-100% Georgia Grown food on their lunch menu for one week. More than 1,600 students were impacted by the program during the school year and over 7,500 Georgia Grown school meals were served. In 2013 five additional school systems are participating in Feed My School for a Week program: Bibb, Chatham, Forsyth, Grady, and Madison Coun-ties. Observations and data gathering from these weeks are used to help make Farm to School a sus-tainable practice in Georgia. Step eight is to Plant a Seed. School gardens are blossoming all over the state with one of the first being Central High School in Thomas County which was planted and worked by the Future Farmers of America. Green beans and squash were served by the school foodservice and corn was served for the end of the year teachers luncheon. Pre-K students went on a hayride and dug potatoes so they could learn farm to school as well.

    Be a Green Cleaner is step nine which talks about eco-friendly cleaning with green products and techniques. This reduces water us-age during cleaning and harmful chemicals ending up in our streams. Catoosa County schools in Ringgold, Georgia received an honorable mention in the Green

    Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities. The last step is to Talk it Up since sustainability needs to be practiced everywhere by everyone. The Georgia School Nutrition Programs are leading by ex-ample in the school environment. This will become a way of life and trickle into homes and other workplaces because students, teachers and parents work together in the school setting to make it happen whether through composting or school gardens efforts. There is a check list at the end of the booklet which was de-

    vised to use as an assessment tool for evaluating sustainability progress in school nutrition, but is helpful in any application. Many of these steps have made it into classrooms as part of curriculum so that students can become educa-tors to their families and take these improvements on as lifestyle changes so they become healthier and more sustainable citizens. This sustainabil-ity movement in the Georgia School Nutrition Programs, that naturally in-volves farm to school practices, has

    made food served in Georgia healthier for students and teachers, and the school greener for sustaining the environment. This is a win-win for students, teach-ers, and families in Georgia.

    Tonya D Gray, MPA, RS Food Safety and Security Specialist

    School Nutrition Program Georgia Department of Education

    205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE Twin Towers East Atlanta, GA 30334

    Phone: 404-463-6928 E-mail: [email protected]

    Web Page: http://www.ga.doe.org/fbo_nutrition.aspx

    The booklet is no longer in print, but can be found at the Georgia School Nutrition Program website:




    School Nutrition and Sustainability, continued...

    Ten Steps to Sustainability

    1. Take Stock

    2. Conserve Energy

    3. Conserve Water

    4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    5. Make Some Fuel

    6. Feed the Worms

    7. Buy Local

    8. Plant a Seed

    9. Be a Green Cleaner

    10. Talk it Up


  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 23

    Environmental Health and Pop Culture by Julia Campbell, M.P.H.

    First, I have to say, that this was one of the most fun article research assignments that I have done this year. Popcorn: check. Beverage: check. Big fuzzy blanket and quiet night in: check and check. However, when doing the preliminary research to find environmental health themes in media and popular culture, they were somewhat hard to come by. We do have tangential topics in our average television series, movies, artworks, and music, but how many really share the core of what we do? For the few titles that I did come across, it was primarily in movies and television, so I am sharing some of my experience through these musings. Now, for those of you who havent heard of or seen these titles, I cant share a synopsis for each title shared. I will have to rely on you to follow-up on your own and make up your own mind. With that said, movies like Deliver Us from Eva and Larry the Cable Guys Health Inspector, show us the perception (or lack of understanding) about our profession. Considering the quality of these films, it is understandable how our profession has seen limited and less than favorable recognition in Hollywood pop culture. Health Inspector got a viewer rating of 5% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, equivalent to a rancid, rotten SPLAT. Deliver Us from Eva has better reviews (44%) on the Rotten Tomatoes Movie Rating website, which is roughly equivalent to a recently composted SPLAT. For both movies, however, general viewers mostly liked them (65% and 77%). These films toy with an accurate description of what Environmentalists do, and I commend Hollywood for giving our profession some depth of attention, and with an attempt at incorporating humor which, frankly, made it more entertaining. Health Inspector attempts to paint the irony of a slob with disgusting habits enforcing health laws and investigating outbreaks; it gives at least some attention to the complexity of an Environmental Health Specialists work by showing how some things are just common sense, some things you can let go, but the big things will shut a business down. Conversely, Deliver Me from Eva succeeds in portraying how an environmentalist might be perceived as overbearing, bossy, and strict. It also touches on the politics of the career, and how a career driven Environmentalist is also human, though the movie probably exaggerates the types of professional attack from spiteful businesses inspected. That said, Hollywood did give a uniquely creative spin on an old taboo with Ratatouille. Ratatouille was given a

    resounding 96% on the RottenTomatoes.com Tomatometer, translating as a super tasty FRESH tomato. This movie was well received by critics and general audiences alike, but it is truly fantasy. A rat who is a Master Chef that pleases the biggest food critic of high class restaurants, and the Environmentalist (or Health Inspector) is thrown in the closet so the restaurant isnt shut down. Hmmm. Yeah. Not very realistic, but bonus points for creativity. And speaking of Hollywood... (or perhaps Im not) I cant help but bring up the honorable mention of a septic tank in the Four Yorkshiremen sketch shared Live at the Hollywood Bowl and created by members of Monty

    Pythons Flying Circus, albeit a brief mention: How many violations can you count? The context of the quote presumably shares how tough life was in the old days, although I think it shares more about the propensity of these characters to exaggerate their hardships. Another favorite British Television comedy is the Fawlty Towers: Health Inspector episode. The episode indulges us Environmentalists with what can possibly go wrong at the hotel on the day the health inspector is scheduled to visit. Episodes of Sponge Bob Square Pants or Friends may also remind us of Environmental Health Specialists through the Krusty Krab or Central Perk. Another of my personal favorite food service inspection shows, (in)famous in the United Kingdom and the United States, is Gordon Ramsays reality television series Kitchen Nightmares. In this program, internationally renowned Scottish Michelin Star Master Chef Gordon Ramsay shares his insights and business savvy with restaurant owners in Britain and America, trying to help recover their failing restaurant businesses. No holds barred, Gordon Ramsay tells it like it is, and shares important health education such as: Have you looked into your freezer?!? Did you really serve people this?? This will kill people!

    You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper

    bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in

    the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale

    bread, go to work down at the mill fourteen hours a day,

    week in, week out, for sixpence a week, and when we got

    home, our dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt.

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 24

    Environmental Health in Pop Culture, continued...

    Although not necessarily our style, and not even Evas style from Deliver Us from Eva, Gordon gitser done with his brand of tough love for these restaurants, protecting patrons and educating restaurant owners and the general public worldwide. To Gordon I raise my glass of Guinness, or dram of Single Malt Whiskey (Lagavaulin please), and play the Mephiskapheles song Yum Yum Bumblebee Tuna way above acceptable noise levels of 85 decibels.

    Despite all the attention that food service has been given in popular media, there have been several films and television that delve into the darker side of Environmental Health - toxic pollution. Both A Civil Action and Erin Brockovich deserve entertainment kudos (both Guaranteed FRESH on the Tomatometer at 61% and 83% respectively), however embellished their stories may be with regard to the regulation and health protection against exposure to chemicals. The facts are correct, but the drama surrounding them has a smidge of Hollywood artistic license.

    In these films, the dirty underhandedness of these major industries is appalling, and gives credence to Environmental Health Specialists assessments. Too, although we may be young enough that we dont know the occupational hazards of being a miner or chemical plant worker, we can certainly appreciate the importance of protective diligence, and the time and labor required to adequately investigate the potential for exposure and a link to disease. But then, my background has been toxic chemicals and land use, and Ive never inspected restaurants.

    Another worthy contender in the hazardous waste category is the film turned television program, Toxic Avenger. Toxie is a humanoid creature created by a hazardous waste exposure accident who saves the world one little old lady at a time. Toxie stands out for his moral teachings, and his dashingly bad looks! The Oblongs cartoon series on the Cartoon Networks Adult Swim also relies on the morally-good-but-horribly-deformed-by-hazardous-waste-exposure theme. Kinda reminds me also of the Simpsons episode of the power plant toxic waste spill and the three-eyed fish.

    I will briefly mention films like Legend, Outbreak, Hot Zone, Contagion, or The Rock which intend to frighten us with a profound potential of unintentional

    disasters or terrorism attempts, although Environmental Health Emergency Preparedness can appreciate the complexity shared in these dramatic portrayals. I will also only briefly mention the television series Bones, which offers exquisite scientific exploration, retracing the cause of death in which a couple of episodes which have mentioned causes of death spread through environmental or medical mechanisms.

    However, I do need to discuss one last television series developed recently that has made my quiet nights worthwhile. Filmed in downtown Atlanta, The Walking Dead is a television series that explores the largest outbreak threat of all to public health, and most certainly an environmental health issue: zombies, (not dead, but the un-dead). Funny enough, scenes filmed at our downtown quarry made me think of radon as an important Environmental Health threat, but clearly radon is not nearly as acutely dangerous as zombies.

    In The Walking Dead, the CDC tries to study zombies and determines that they carry a rabies-like virus that virulent and highly contagious, and has neurological as well as other physiological effects. Zombies require fresh animal blood, brains, and flesh for, uhhh, survival, and mixing your blood fluids from a Zombie transmits the virus infecting you with the disease, and thus turning you into a zombie as well. Several movies have played with this theme, Night of the Living Dead, Legend, and Shaun of the Dead being the most notable, but only The Walking Dead takes this public health threat straight to the CDCs doorstep...and into their labs, and onto their MRIs and catscanners well, you will just have to see for yourself.

    So in my endeavor to identify public attitudes and perceptions of the Environmental Health Profession in popular media and culture, I have succeeded primarily in being entertained, but each media review has also taught me how society values our work, and judging by the titles mentioned here, however we are perceived our work is priceless.

    Do you have a movie, tv, or radio favorite that you

    think reflects the work you do? Email or send it to

    me at [email protected]., or contact me

    through GEHAs Facebook page!

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 25

    Local Biodiesel Helps Reduce Exposure to Air Toxics

    by Anne Gilliam Blair

    Diesel enginescars, trucks, buses, construction

    equipment, trains, and marine vessels--operated on

    petroleum-based diesel (petrodiesel) fuel emit

    harmful air pollutants including particulate matter,

    nitrogen oxides and over 40 chemicals that are

    classified as hazardous air pollutants or toxic air

    pollutants by the U.S. Environmental Protection

    Agency (EPA) for their cancer causing properties.

    Studies show that diesel exhaust contributes to cancer

    as well as asthma, premature death, diabetes, as well

    as respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.

    Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative to

    petrodiesel that can be used in any diesel-powered

    vehicles that produces far fewer emissions. Biodiesel

    is made from fats and oils that are chemically

    converted through a process called transesterification

    into a usable EPA approved transportation fuel. The

    most notable emissions reductions from using

    biodiesel over petrodiesel are of toxic air pollutants,

    particulate matter, and carbon dioxide. Diesel engines

    often operate in areas with high concentrations of

    people, such as construction sites and in urban areas,

    and these pollutants pose hazards to those who

    operate these engines, or live and work nearby. Using

    cleaner fuels will cut these pollutants thus reducing

    exposure and improving local air quality.

    Biodiesel is a compatible fuel. Biodiesel can be used

    in any diesel engine without conversions. It adds

    lubricity to your engine and help clean out old sulfur

    residue left from petroleum diesel fuel. One of the

    biggest misperceptions about biodiesel is that a diesel

    engine must be converted to use biodiesel.

    Biodiesel is a safer fuel. Biodiesel is 100% non-

    toxic, less toxic than even table salt, and biodegrades

    at the same rate as sugar, about four times faster than

    petroleum diesel. This makes biodiesel safer to store,

    handle and clean up.

    Biodiesel is a domestic fuel. Biodiesel helps reduce

    demand for petroleum and reduces dependence on

    foreign oil. By using locally sourced and produced

    fuel, transportation costs are reduced, local emissions

    are reduced and local businesses grow.

    Diesel engines are widespread for heavy-duty

    operations due to their durability and greater fuel

    efficiency than gasoline engines. While new diesel

    engines are getting cleaner thanks to new engine

    standards, older diesel engines will likely remain in a

    companys fleet for many years. Using biodiesel is a

    simple, cost-effective solution for food trucks,

    farmers, landscape companies, contractors, tour buses

    and individuals with diesel cars and trucks who want

    to reduce their environmental and health impacts,

    carbon footprint and/or reduce oil consumption.

    Biodiesel is currently available from Clean Energy

    Biofuels in Atlanta. The fueling station offers a 20%

    blend and 100% blend of biodiesel. The retail

    biodiesel fueling station is part of the U.S.

    Department of Energys Clean Cities I-75 Clean

    Corridor program, which seeks to create the longest

    alternative fuels corridor in the United States.

    Anne is the program director for Southern Alliance for Clean Energys (SACE) clean fuels and bioenergy programs, SACEs Georgia Affairs Liaison and also marketing coordinator for Clean Energy Biofuels (CEB) retail station in Atlanta. In her position, she is engaged in policy analysis, outreach and research with an emphasis on clean transportation technologies and bioenergy on the state and federal levels. Anne joined the SACE staff in 2003. She is a member of the Green-E Governance Board, the Southeast Diesel Collaborative Leadership Council, serves on the Steering Committee for the Pine 2 Energy Coalition, is a graduate of the Environmental Leadership Institute, President of the Avondale-Rockbridge Civic Alliance, and a member of Decatur First Methodist Church. Anne

    previously worked for River Network in Washington, DC, The Fund for Public Interest Research Group, and was an AmeriCorps volunteer with the National Park Service on Fire Island, NY. She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Womans College in Lynchburg, VA.

    For More Information, visit www.cleanfuelscorridor.com

  • Georgia Environmentalist Volume 35 26

    The National Environmental Health Association BOARD OF DIRECTORS UPDATE

    by John Steward, M.P.H., R.E.H.S.

    The recent NEHA Board meeting agenda items may give you some idea of the issues that NEHA is addressing:

    2014 Las Vegas, Nevada

    2015 Orlando, Florida

    The 2013 NEHA Annual Educational Conference will be held in Washington D.C. Scholarship opportunities are available, and the NEHA virtual conference will again available online.

    NEHAs overall financial picture remains solid. Unlike many other non-profit professional associations, NEHA is not planning to reduce programs, services, or staff. NEHA still has nearly 5,000 members


    NEHA continues to be concerned about cutbacks incurred by government agencies and environmental health programs at all levels of government. Over the past few years, public health workforce has shrunk by

    20% at the state and local level, and nearly all agencies have had some reductions. As you probably know,

    the federal government has experienced a widespread reduction in funding that has resulted in decreased

    support to state and local agencies, in addition to agencies reduced funding.

    Technical Advisor program NEHA has greatly expanded the Technical Advisor Program to give members with expertise in specific areas the opportunity to provide advice, develop papers, and help respond to issues

    that occur nationally and in states. It is intended to be a resource for expertise for both NEHA and its

    members. Many affiliates refer issues to NEHA for support and advice, and NEHA engages the advisors to

    respond. A list of the 20+ technical areas may be found on the NEHA.org web page. This is a great way to

    become involved in the organization.

    NEHA continues to be very active in food safety as one of its priority areas: NEHA is conducting a 5-year program with FDA to support the Food Safety Modernization Act. NEHA has developed a new

    Certified Professional-Food Safety (CP-FS). This credential is distinct from other food safety and protection

    credentials in that it encompasses a more comprehensive view of safety in the food system. NEHA sponsors

    many food safety credentials and training programs and works extensively with states, local governments,

    and federal agencies including CDC and FDA.

    NEHA has developed new awards for innovation and for educational achievement that will be awarded for the first time this year.

    If you have not visited NEHA.org recently, check it out for its great resou