General Environmental Health Concerns

General environmental health concerns:


While there are no organized efforts at present, Health Department staff are available to counsel citizens about the presence and health effects of asbestos. This Asbestos Information PowerPoint describes the history of asbestos use and its current rules and regulations for handling it. For more information visit the Mesothelioma Asbestos Awareness Center website or the Mesothelioma Guide

Disaster Preparedness

Public Health, in collaboration with Pottawattamie County Public Health/VNA, are responsible for public health emergency preparedness planning, training and response capabilities developed in coordination with local, regional and statewide preparedness partners. Preparedness measures include enactment of policies and procedures for mass clinics, special needs population shelters, disease surveillance and containment measures, including review and revision of inter-agency agreements for facility usage, bio-emergency supply and equipment procurement. 

Mosquito-borne Disease Surveillance

Public Health monitors for the presence of diseases carried by mosquitoes from May through September. With the assistance and support of the Iowa Department of Public Health, Public Health maintains a sentinel chicken flock near the river and collects blood samples from the birds weekly. The blood samples are analyzed to determine if viruses which can cause encephalitis in people have been brought into the area or are present in the local mosquito populations. A light trap is also operated near the river daily to collect mosquitoes. This information can be used to monitor mosquito populations, types of mosquitoes present, whether or not the mosquitoes are carrying viruses and newly emerging viral infections (presence of the Asian tiger Mosquito, spread of the West Nile virus from the Northeast U.S. into Iowa, etc.) 

Needle/Sharps Collection Program

Public Health, along with participating community pharmacies, distribute containers, literature and labels to residents using insulin, heart and other types of medications. Used syringes and lancets are collected and stored in these containers. Once containers are full, they can be exchanged at no charge for new containers at participating pharmacies or the Health Department. The Health Department properly disposes of these materials with a medical waste company. Please do not dispose of sharps in your garbage or recycling. 

School Immunization Record Audits

Protection against infectious diseases and epidemics rely in large part on immunizations and shots that are given during childhood for many serious and easily spread diseases, such as measles, polio and meningitis. School nurses, in collaboration with the Public Health Nurses, ensure that elementary, middle and high-school children have all the required immunizations as set forth by the Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines. Every fall, the immunization records of each child at all Council Bluffs schools are examined by Public Health officials. If deficiencies are found in a child's record, the school nurse then has an opportunity to arrange the appropriate shots for the child and bring him or her up to date. Public Health nurses, school nurses and Public Health sanitarians are able to work together to protect the health of all Council Bluffs children.