Environmental Health is a key component of public health with Environmental Health Officers who utilise regulatory and non-regulatory interventions to protect individuals and the community from the potential harm or illness caused by exposure to hazards, diseases and harmful practices.
Environmental Health Services has responsibilities in the below topics for both consumers and business.
Food Safety and Standards
What we do
- Provide expert advice on food safety, composition and labelling
- Manage and investigate foodborne illness outbreaks
- Investigate complaints regarding food safety and standards
- Investigate prescribed contaminant in food notifications and recalls, food contamination, and ACCC food reports
- Conduct Food Sampling surveys and implement local and state-wide compliance plan activities.
- Partner with stakeholders including local governments and Safe Food Production Qld.
Local Government Environmental Health Officers also have a role in food safety. They are responsible for licensing food businesses and auditing them to identify and manage health and environmental impacts.
Food Act 2006
Food safety regulation, Food safety requirements, Licensing a food business, Food and safety programs, Auditing, Food industry updates and alerts, Food safety for consumers, Information and Resources.
Food Standards Code
A guide to the Food Standards Code labelling requirements for food businesses.
Medicines and poisons
EHS enforce legislation to minimise harm from misuse or inappropriate supply or access to medicines and poisons, as well as providing advice and issuing permits.
What we do
- Handle enquiries and investigate complaints or incidents regarding misuse and non-compliance of scheduled medicines and poisons
- Audit pharmacies, hospitals, drug wholesalers, poisons retailers and people with as-of-right authority to obtain, possess, sell and administer medicines and poisons
- Provide technical advice to people or groups on legislation to protect health safety from the misuse of medicines and poisons
- Issue permits under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulations 1996 including strychnine, cyanide and 1080 permits
- Issue mine site and island resort approvals to administer and supply scheduled medicines and poisons for acute emergency first aid purposes.
- Implement local and state compliance plan activities for medicines and poisons.
- Investigate scheduled medicine discrepancy, loss or theft.
Other Useful Links
Licensing and Fees
Fee schedule, Manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale and Permits for poisons.
Approvals and Authorities
Regulated activities approval forms, Industry specific approval forms, Other approvals, Obligations and requirements and Contacts.
Proposed changes to the regulatory scheme, Compliance with the Act and regulation, Licencing and Resources.
Water Quality and Fluoridation
Our community sources most of its household drinking water from reticulated systems, but residents often have a rainwater tank or bore, or dual reticulated system. Some in our community rely on non-reticulated water as their only source of potable water.
EHS partners with the Department of Energy and Water Supply and other stakeholders to respond to public health risks arising from water quality (potable and recycled) and fluoridation.
Many factors contribute to contaminated water including bacteria, chemical, bushfire, cyclone or flooding.
What we do
- Investigate waterborne diseases including Legionella and Cryptosporidium
- Conduct water related public health risk assessments and provide expert advice on water quality and safety
- Conduct public health risk assessments and provide expert advice on water quality and safety
- Advise public hospitals on Legionella control strategies
- Conduct audits of water treatment plant fluoridation facilities
- Manage compliance with the Public Health Act 2005 and Water Fluoridation Act 2008.
Water Fluoridation Act 2008
Safety of water fluoridation.
Legionella, Legionellosis and Legionnaires’ Disease
Prevention and risk management.
Legionnaires’ Disease Prevention
EHS enforce Queensland’s tobacco laws which include surveillance of smoke free places and licenced premises, restrictions on the advertising, promotion, sale and use of smoking products, including e-cigarettes.
What we do
- Monitor, enforce and promote compliance with tobacco legislation
- Investigate complaints about non-compliance with the laws
- Educate the community about the laws.
Reporting a possible breach please call 13 QGOV (13 7468)
All possible breaches will be investigated and enforcement taken as necessary.
Please contact your local Queensland Police Service (13 1444) about possible breaches of the law regarding adults smoking in cars with children under 16 years of age.
Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998
Tobacco laws in Queensland
Penalties, fines and enforcement, Outdoor public areas, Smoking in Vehicles, Eating and drinking venues, Tobacco retailing, Electronic cigarettes, Educational facilities, Hospital healthcare and residential aged care facilities.
Tobacco Laws in Queensland
Changes and current laws.
Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs
Services in Queensland, Prevention and treatment, Clinical resources, Screening tools, Training and professional development, Quitline resources, Drugs of dependence, Find a needle and syringe service, Needle and syringe program, Tobacco laws in Queensland, For consumers, Queensland Methamphetamine paper.
Environmental Health Hazards
EHS undertake health risk assessments and provide advice to government partners, stakeholders and the public to minimise the risk to human health from environmental health hazards such as air, soil, water, lead and pesticides.
We’re also responsible for the management of public health risks and regulatory compliance associated with pesticides and poisons.
Environmental health hazards include physical, chemical, biological and social, either natural or as a result of human activity.
What we do
- Investigate consumer complaints and notifications regarding elevated blood lead levels, non-communicable diseases and public health risks
- Conduct health risk assessments on a range of environmental health hazards
- Provide toxicological and epidemiological advice on public health risks arising from environmental health hazards
- Advise on the public health risks and impacts of land use planning and development
- Monitor, enforce and promote compliance with the Public Health Act 2005 and Pest Management Act 2001, including licensed pest management technicians and fumigators
- Investigate complaints about unlicensed pest management operations and other alleged breaches of legislation
- Work with key partners to manage and respond to exotic vector and mosquito-borne diseases.
Other Useful Links
Australian Government Environmental Health Publications
Mosquito Borne Diseases and Dengue
Dengue alerts, Zika virus, Mosquito borne disease prevention, Health professionals and clinicians, Workplaces, hotels and schools and Resources.
About flying-foxes, flying-fox locations and managing the impacts of flying-foxes.
Medicines and Poisons
Legislation and Standards, Licensing and fees, Approvals and authorities, Key partners, Lost or stolen scheduled medicines, Poisons management and Updates and alerts.
Permits for Poisons
Cyanide, Regulated poison baiting products, Application forms and Obligations and requirements.
Compliances, Licencing and Resources.
Prevent poisoning in the home and Poisons Information Centre.
Public Health Incident Management
EHS are part of a multi-agency response during disasters and events.
Major public health incidents may arise from natural disasters, disease outbreaks, criminal acts, bioterrorism and environmental or food contamination.
What we do
- Prepare for public health events through local, state and national disaster management
- Contribute to Mackay District Disaster Management Group
- Lead and help other jurisdictions respond to local public health incidents and events
- Participate in state incident event management as necessary
- Provide expert advice and partner with government, non-government agencies and the public regarding public health risks during events
- Provide public health messages through fact sheets and media
Queensland Health’s role in a disaster, Evacuation centres, Stay safe in a disaster, Poisons management.
Pandemic influenza factsheet, Business pandemic planning and Hospital and Health Service pandemic planning materials.