Boards of Health were established by state and local statures in the 1700s to protect the health and safety of citizens, their food and water supplies, and safe housing. As the industrial revolution changed our lifestyles, and medical research developed vaccines and drugs to counteract illness and disease, public Health Departments focused attention on Environmental problems created by our changed economy, such as air and water pollution, solid waste disposal, toxic chemicals, and natural resource protection.
While today's Boards of Health still address infectious disease control such as TB, Hepatitis, Influenza and Pneumonia, and Foodborne illnesses, much of our work focuses on environmental health issues like sewage disposal, well water supplies, lead paint and housing conditions, food service inspections, and general environmental complaints associated with our mobile society, including the development of urban subdivisions in a previously agricultural setting.
Authority and Enforcement:
In order to react spontaneously and effectively to life-threatening situations, local Boards of Health were given authority to promulgate local regulations and policies by the State Legislature. This procedure differs from by-laws or State statutes, which must be approved by Town meeting, or the State House of Representatives. This local Board of Health can also implement and enforce state laws and regulations through enabling House legislation.
EMAIL ALL CONCERNS TO Sue Mulloy
|Sue Mulloy||Administrative Assistant||(508) 378-1612|