Celebrating World Environmental Health Day: so, just how do we make a difference?

02 October 2023, Adam Bucior CEnvH MCIEH, Environmental Health Team Leader, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

The five pillars of Environmental Health

For World Environmental Health Day 2023, we invited members to share their experiences of working in environmental health and what it means to protect public health.

I am Adam Bucior, MSc BSc(hons) PgDip CEnvH MCIEH. Working across a broad range of EH disciplines (as we do!), I currently manage a team covering: housing disrepair, pest control, environmental crime, dog control, public health, mobile Homes and HMOs, public funerals and statutory nuisances. Having a history of also working in air quality, planning, contaminated land and pollution, I have volunteered as a CIEH Environmental Protection Advisory Panel Member since its inception and latterly as an assessor for the CIEH Professional Pathway.

What led me to my current career?

Becoming a chef at an early age in my career was great, but like many other EHPs, the time comes when you see an officer come in for a food inspection and think – I can do that. Taking a step back and retraining, followed by years of hard work led to completely new and exciting path.

How does my role make a difference?

It can be actively working towards trying to reduce air quality impacts, enforcing legislation around combustion, or educating taxi firms on reducing emissions, through to engaging with volunteer groups over dog safety or working with partners to tackle anti-social behaviour and dissuading children from drug use. On another day it could be trying to establish all possible reasons for a pest infestation on a busy street, through to assisting tenants with mouldy bedrooms to be able to breathe better.

The best bit of the role

I love it when things get technical! I like using theories and methods to come up with practical conclusions, and I even had a journal article published off the back of research I completed for my master’s degree based on the use of plants predicting the impact of human activities. For me though, the ultimate satisfaction is knowing you are doing the right thing, whether that is improving the environment or protecting people’s health.

The Environmental Health team are an important body with influences across the full spectrum of the determinants of health. Whilst often not seen, we support those most in need, educate where we can, and act on anything within our powers to improve the physical environment. We need continued support from central government to help us fulfil our roles and increased visibility to show just how important our profession is.

If you would like to learn more about environmental health and becoming an EHP, visit our What is EH? webpage or if you would like to write a blog about your EH experience, please email [email protected].

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