UCHD, Protecting Your Health.

 

Thursday, 25 August 2011 03:05

Travel Vaccines

 

Travel Immunizations available at the Union County Health Department

Traveling out of the country? Make sure you are protected from illness prior to traveling. Here at the Union County Health Department we carry the following immunizations for adults:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningitis
  • Polio
  • TDAP (Tetanus, Diptheria and Acellular Pertussis)

You can get your vaccination at the Union County Health Department during our Adult Clinic Hours (for individuals 11 years and older). Appointments are required. Fees do apply, please call 937-645-2053 for current pricing and appointments. Sliding fee scale available.

We do not carry the following vaccines:

  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Malaria
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow Fever

If you are in need of the above listed vaccinations please contact the following agencies for availability:

 

Thursday, 25 August 2011 03:05

Getting a Vaccine

The Union County Health Department's goal is to make sure everyone has the opportunity to receive the benefits of full vaccination coverage. We offer recommended vaccinations for children and adults. Medicaid managed plans such as CareSource, Molina, etc. cover the cost of most vaccinations. We also accept most private insurance plans. No one is turned away for inability to pay.  Click on the links below to access information on the various clinics we offer to help meet your vaccination needs. 

Adult Health Clinic (for ages 11 and older)

Childhood Immunization Clinic

Thursday, 25 August 2011 03:04

Immunization Recommendations (CDC)

Get the best protection for your child—make sure your child is immunized on schedule. For a complete list of recommended immunizations, specific to your child, use this online tool provided by the CDC:  

Please click here for the online tool

 

Printable PDF Versions of Recommended Immunization Schedules by Age

Child Immunization Schedule (Ages Birth-6)
Child Immunization Schedule (Ages 7-18)
Adult Immunization Schedule (Ages 19-65+)

Thursday, 25 August 2011 01:58

Nuisance Complaint

The Union County Health Department investigates complaints from our residents regarding many different public health issues. If you have a complaint concerning one of the areas listed below, please contact us by phone at (937) 642-2053 or submit the online nuisance complaint form provided below. Please be advised nuisance complaints are public record and are therefore subject to review or release to any requesting party. Nuisance complaints can be made anonymously or the complainant can provide his/her name. If a complainant provides his/her name, that information is included in the public record.

 

Public health nuisance complaints that can fall under the jurisdiction of the Union County Health Departmen include:

  • Sewage
  • Restaurants
  • Public Swimming Pools
  • Plumbing
  • Solid Waste (such as tires, trash, etc)

Areas of public health concern that we can provide advice/guidance on, but no remediation: 

  • Mold
  • Bed Bugs
  • General Pests
  • Lice
  • MRSA
  • Ticks 
 

Nuisance Complaint Form

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Thursday, 25 August 2011 01:56

Aeration Systems

Everyone in Union County who has an aeration sewage treatment system is required by Ohio Administrative Code 3701-29-19, to either have a service contract with one of the approved aeration service companies or maintain a basic system assessment permit from the Union County Health Department (UCHD). If you choose to have a permit through UCHD, your system will be inspected once a year and you will be notified of the results. All approved aeration service providers are required to notify UCHD when an inspection is conducted and the results of the inspection. The approved aeration service companies are also required to notify UCHD of the beginning and ending dates of the service contract. When the service provider companies notify the UCHD a contract has not been renewed, that system is switched to the UCHD inspection program.

System Information:

Maintenance of your aeration sewage treatment system depends on what type of system you have. If you are unsure of what type or brand of aeration system you have (for Union County, Ohio homeowners only), contact our office at (937) 642-2053 or holly.rast@uchd.net. The following is a list of common aeration sewage treatment systems in Union County and manufacturer information for each of those systems.  

Oldham
icon System Information 
icon Diffuser Pipe Specifications

Multi-Flo
Multi-flo system information

Nayadic
Nayadic system information     

Jet
Manufacturer's website 

Norweco (for systems installed on or after 2007)
Manufacturer's website - see system details on the right hand panel on the website

Norweco (for systems installed before 2007)
Manufacturer's website - see system details on the right hand panel on the website

Thursday, 25 August 2011 01:55

Septic Systems

New 2015 Sewage Rules!

icon OAC-3701-29-UCHD Sewage Rules Supplement

These new statewide sewage rules have made it necessary for the Union County Health Department (UCHD) to expand its current Operation and Maintenance (O&M) program to include every septic system in Union County. To understand your responsibilities under the new 2015 sewage rules check out the O&M program page

Operation and Maintenance Program 

Learn what you can expect during the O&M phase in period, fee information and more! Click here for more information.

Septic Systems 

What happens when you flush the toilet? Many people don’t know! Every time you flush the toilet or use water in any way in your home, you are generating wastewater. When wastewater leaves your home it needs to be treated before it re-enters the environment. Depending on the type of septic system or Sewage Treatment System (STS) you have your wastewater is treated naturally by the ground, with the help of special filter bed or by an aerator. To find out more about your system type and how it treats your wastewater follow this link to our septic system information page.

What you need to know

Sewage is the waste water released by residences, businesses and industries in a community. It is 99.94 percent water, only 0.06 percent of the water is dissolved and suspended solid material. The cloudiness of sewage is caused by suspended particles. Pathogens or disease-causing organisms are present in sewage. Coliform bacteria are used as an indicator of disease-causing organisms. Sewage also contains metals, minerals and nutrients (such as ammonia and phosphorus).

Private sewage systems are used by households not served by a centralized sewage system. This is accomplished by site evaluations, permits and inspections of new and altered systems, and the investigation of complaints/malfunctioning systems. Union County regulates private sewage systems in accordance with the local sewage treatment system rules, Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3718, and the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) chapter 3701-29.

Public sewage systems are those systems where households are connected to a centralized sewerage system. Public systems are not regulated by the Health Department, but are governed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). However, in Union County, any commercial (or semi-public) sewage system smaller than 25,000 gallons per day is inspected by the Health Department, through a contract with the OEPA

OAC 3701-29 (Chapter 29)

icon Septic System Inspection Form

icon Environmental Health Fee Schedule - see Section IV, C & D on page 2 for fees associated with household sewage systems

Installing a private sewage system?

Installing a private sewage system requires a permit from the Union County Health Department. There are several steps that must be completed before a permit can be obtained. Some of these steps include a site evaluation. A soil scientist must test the soil in which the system will be installed.

Once a permit is issued, installation must be done by a registered installer.  Click here for a list of registered installers.
A soil scientist must test the soil in which the system will be installed.  Click here for a list of local soil scientists.
Some repairs on existing systems must also be done by registered sewage installers.  

icon Registered-Sewage-Installers

EPA Grant Information

Union County Health Department was awarded a grant to fix and replace failing septic systems in Union County. If you know there is a problem with your system but do not have the funds to fix or replace it, contact Holly Rast for information on how to apply!

Holly Rast
(937) 645-2043
holly.rast@uchd.net

 

Thursday, 25 August 2011 01:54

Private Water Systems

When do I need a permit?          Private well maintenance recommendations          
Water sampling          How to disinfect a well

Private water systems provide potable water, which is water that is suitable for drinking. In the state of Ohio private water systems are regulated by OAC 3701-28.  The most common water supply for a home not served by a public water system is a private well.The following are some other examples of private water systems:

  • Spring
  • Pond
  • Cistern
  • Hauled water storage tank

Clean water is essential to maintaining a healthy home. The EPA has put together a list of common contaminents found in private water sources and how they can affect human health. Click here to learn more about each contaminant and what kinds of human activities can pollute ground water. 

When do I need a permit?

If you install, alter, or seal a well in Union County you must obtain a permit from the Union County Health Department. Feel free to download and fill out this form prior to coming to the office. Forms are also available at the office. Please contact the health department at (937) 642-2053 for any questions you may have.

Anyone in the business of working on private water systems in Ohio must be registered with the Ohio Department of Health as a Private Water Systems Contractor.  As of April, 1 2011, homeowners who wish to construct, alter or seal their private water systems are now required to register without the bonding requirement.  For a complete list of all active contractors registered with the Ohio Department of Health visit the Wells and Private Water Systems page.

For more information on your well, search the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.

 iconOAC 3701-28 

 

 Private Well Maintenance Recommendations

According to the National Ground Water Association, here are some steps you can take to help protect your well:

  • Wells should be checked and tested ANNUALLY for mechanical problems, cleanliness, and the presence of certain contaminants, such as coliform bacteria, nitrates/nitrites, and any other contaminants of local concern, (for example, arsenic and radon).
  • Well water should be tested more than once a year if there are recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness among household members or visitors and/or a change in taste, odor, or appearance of the well water.
  • All hazardous materials, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil, should be kept far away from your well.
  • When mixing chemicals, do not put the hose inside the mixing container, as this can siphon chemicals into a household’s water system.
  • Consult a professional contractor to verify that there is proper separation between your well, home, waste systems, and chemical storage facilities.
  • Always check the well cover or well cap to ensure it is intact. The top of the well should be at least one foot above the ground.
  • Once your well has reached its serviceable life (usually at least 20 years), have a licensed or certified water well driller and pump installer decommission the existing well and construct a new well. 

 

Water Sampling

If you are concerned about the water from your well, contact the Union County Health Department at (937) 642-2053. We offer bacterial water tests for $60.89. Additional tests may be available for additional cost.

Employees (sanitarians) of the Union County Health Department are available to take water samples from private wells. The sanitarian will need access to a working spigot in order to draw water into a lab-approved sterilized container. Residents should not bring in samples themselves.

Interpretation of your results

The Ohio State University in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio EPA have developed an online assessment tool that offers instant water quality interpretation for Ohio residents. 

Water samples are typically taken for real-estate transfers or when there is concern the well might be contaminated (such as after flooding). 

 

How to Disinfect a Water Well

  1. If you have a water softener it should be by-passed.  Remove the well cap or the vent pipe or plug if the well is equipped with a sanitary well seal.
  2. Pour one gallon of household bleach (5.25% chlorine) directly into well.
  3. Connect a hose to a house spigot and run water directly into the well until chlorine odor is present in the water. Run the water this way for 15 minutes.
  4. Shut off water supply to hose and proceed to systematically open each water fixture in the house.  Let water run through each fixture until chlorine odor is present.  Include both cold and hot water valves.
  5. Close all valves and pour another one gallon of bleach directly into the well.  Recap the well or replace the vent pipe or plug.  Leave all valves closed for a period of 12 hours or longer (toilets may be flushed if needed.)
  6. Open the hose spigot and discharge water to ground surface or drainage ditch until chlorine odor disappears.  Open every household fixture and let water run until the chlorine odor is gone.
  7. The well should now be properly disinfected.

 icon How to Chlorinate your Well

 

 

Thursday, 25 August 2011 01:49

Lead

Union County's Lead Awareness Program

The Union County Health Department wants to help homeowners know their home is free of lead. Homes most at risk for high lead levels are those built before 1978. To help homeowners, the Health Department offers free lead-paint test kits. To get a kit, please call (937) 642-2053.

It is also the goal of the Union County Health Department to make sure that every child less than 6 years of age is screened for their lead exposure risk. Download the quick screening form below to see if your child is at increased risk for lead poisoning. If you answer "yes" or "I don't know" to any of the questions, then please call your doctor to ask about a blood lead test. If you do not have a doctor, please call (937) 642-2053 and ask to speak to a nurse about getting a blood lead test for your child.

icon BloodLeadTestingRequirements

The Union County Health Department's lead awareness program is funded in part by the Ohio Department of Health's Healthy Homes and Lead Prevention Program.

Facts about lead

  • FACT: Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.
  • FACT: Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
  • FACT: You can get lead in your body by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead.
  • FACT: You have many options for reducing lead hazards. In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.
  • FACT: Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family.

If you think your home might have lead hazards, read on to learn about lead and some simple steps to protect your family.

Health effects of lead

Childhood lead poisoning remains a major environmental health problem in the United States.

    • People can get lead in their body if they:
      • Put their hands or other objects covered with lead dust in their mouths.
      • Eat paint chips or soil that contains lead.
      • Breathe in lead dust, especially during renovations that disturb painted surfaces.

 

    • Lead is more dangerous to children because:
      • Babies and young children often put their hands and other objects in their mouths. These objects can have lead dust on them.
      • Children's growing bodies absorb more lead.
      • Children's brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.

 

    • If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from:
      • Damage to the brain and nervous system
      • Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
      • Slowed growth
      • Hearing problems
      • Headaches

 

  • Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults can suffer from:
    • Reproductive problems (in both men and women)
    • High blood pressure and hypertension
    • Nerve disorders
    • Memory and concentration problems
    • Muscle and joint pain

Read more on the health effects of lead.

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Are you renovating, repairing or painting a home, child care facility or school built before 1978?

Beginning April 22, 2010, federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb more than six square feet of paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and trained to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

Protect your family and make sure you only hire a contractor who is in a Lead-Safe Certified Firm. Find a Lead-Safe Certified Firm near you.

Read about EPA's requirements for renovation, repair and painting.

Read EPA's pamphlet on renovation, repair and painting:

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Are you planning to buy or rent a home built before 1978?

Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly.

Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renting or buying a pre-1978 housing:

  • LANDLORDS must disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect. Leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint.
  • SELLERS must disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to ten days to check for lead hazards.
  • More information on the disclosure program.

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Where lead is found

In general, the older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint.

  • Paint. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Some states stopped its use even earlier. Lead can be found:

    • In homes in the city, country, or suburbs.
    • In apartments, single-family homes, and both private and public housing.
    • Inside and outside of the house.
  • In soil around a home. Soil can pick up lead from exterior paint, or other sources such as past use of leaded gas in cars, and children playing in yards can ingest or inhale lead dust.

  • Household dust. Dust can pick up lead from deteriorating lead-based paint or from soil tracked into a home.

  • Drinking water. Your home might have plumbing with lead or lead solder. Call your local health department or water supplier to find out about testing your water. You cannot see, smell or taste lead, and boiling your water will not get rid of lead. If you think your plumbing might have lead in it:

    • Use only cold water for drinking and cooking.
    • Run water for 15 to 30 seconds before drinking it, especially if you have not used your water for a few hours.
  • The job. If you work with lead, you could bring it home on your hands or clothes. Shower and change clothes before coming home. Launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your family's clothes.

  • Old painted toys and furniture.

  • Food and liquids stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain. Food can become contaminated because lead can leach in from these containers.

  • Lead smelters or other industries that release lead into the air.

  • Hobbies that use lead, such as making pottery or stained glass, or refinishing furniture.

  • Folk remedies that contain lead, such as "greta" and "azarcon" used to treat an upset stomach.

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Where lead is likely to be a hazard

Lead from paint chips, which you can see, and lead dust, which you can't always see, can be serious hazards.

  • Peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention.

  • Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear. These areas include:
    • Windows and window sills.
    • Doors and door frames.
    • Stairs, railings, and banisters.
    • Porches and fences.

Note: Lead-based paint that is in good condition is usually not a hazard.

  • Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry scraped, dry sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep or walk through it.

  • Lead in soil can be a hazard when children play in bare soil or when people bring soil into the house on their shoes. Contact the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) to find out about testing soil for lead.

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How to check your family and home for lead

Just knowing that a home has lead-based paint may not tell you if there is a hazard.

To reduce your child's exposure to lead, get your child checked, have your home tested (especially if your home has paint in poor condition and was built before 1978), and fix any hazards you may have.

    • Your family
      • Children's blood lead levels tend to increase rapidly from 6 to 12 months of age, and tend to peak at 18 to 24 months of age.
      • Consult your doctor for advice on testing your children. A simple blood test can detect high levels of lead. Blood tests are important for:
        • Children at ages one and two.
        • Children and other family members who have been exposed to high levels of lead.
        • Children who should be tested under your state or local health screening plan.
      • Your doctor can explain what the test results mean and if more testing will be needed.

 

  • Your home
    • You can get your home checked in one of two ways, or both
      • A paint inspection tells you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home. It won't tell you whether the paint is a hazard or how you should deal with it.
      • A risk assessment tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure (such as peeling paint and lead dust). It also tells you what actions to take to address these hazards.
    • Have qualified professionals do the work. There are standards in place for certifying lead-based paint professionals to ensure the work is done safely, reliably, and effectively. Contact the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) for a list of contacts in your area.
    • Trained professionals use a range of methods when checking your home, including:
      • Visual inspection of paint condition and location.
      • A portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) machine.
      • Lab tests of paint samples.
      • Surface dust tests.

Note: Home test kits for lead are available, but studies suggest that they are not always accurate. Consumers should not rely on these tests before doing renovations or to assure safety.

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What you can do to protect your family

    • If you suspect that your house has lead hazards, you can take some immediate steps to reduce your family's risk:
      • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
      • Clean up paint chips immediately.
      • Clean floors, window frames, window sills, and other surfaces weekly. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead. REMEMBER: NEVER MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH PRODUCTS TOGETHER SINCE THEY CAN FORM A DANGEROUS GAS.
      • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
      • Wash children's hands often, especially before they eat and before nap time and bed time.
      • Keep play areas clean. Wash bottles, pacifiers, toys, and stuffed animals regularly.
      • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
      • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.
      • Make sure children eat healthy and nutritious meals as recommended by the National Dietary Guidelines. Children with good diets absorb less lead.

 

  • Additional steps:
    • You can temporarily reduce lead hazards by taking actions such as repairing damaged painted surfaces and planting grass to cover soil with high lead levels. These actions are not permanent solutions and will need ongoing attention.
    • To permanently remove lead hazards, you must hire a certified lead "abatement" contractor. Abatement (or permanent hazard elimination) methods include removing, sealing, or enclosing lead-based paint with special materials. Just painting over the hazard with regular paint is not enough.
    • Always hire a person with special training for correcting lead problems -- someone who knows how to do this work safely and has the proper equipment to clean up thoroughly. Certified contractors will employ qualified workers and follow strict safety rules set by their state or the federal government.
    • Contact the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) for help with locating certified contractors in your area and to see if financial assistance is available.

 

 

 

Thursday, 25 August 2011 01:49

Radon

Welcome to the regional radon test kit hub for western & central Ohio. Ohio homeowners can order a free test kit by clicking on the link below. To learn more about radon and how it affects your health, click on one of the links below or scroll down this page.

Free Radon Test Kits
Radon Resistant New Construction
Radon and Your Home

 

 

Free Radon Test Kits

The Ohio Department of Health offers FREE radon test kits to Ohio homeowners through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

To order a free radon test kit and have it mailed to your home click on the orange link below!


Free Home Radon Test Kit 

 

If you are unable to complete the online form for any reason, please email us at contact@uchd.net or call us at (937) 642-2053 and we will ensure a test kit is ordered on your behalf. 

 

The FREE test kit is easy to use.
1. Place the test kit in the lowest living level of your home. That means a finished basement if your family spends time there or it may mean your first floor if you only use the basement for storage.

2. Leave the kit in place for three to seven days. 

3. Remove and discard the sponge from the kit. Seal the bag and mail to the testing company.

4. Your results will be mailed to you in about two weeks. The Ohio Department of Health also receives the results so that radon levels throughout the state can be tracked.

 If your home has radon levels over 4 picocuries per liter, mitigation is recommended. Mitigation costs can be several hundred dollars or more, but is important for the health of your family as exposure to Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The Ohio Department of Health has a list of all licensed Radon contractors which you can find by following this link.  If you have any questions, please call the Union County Health Department at (937) 642-2053 for more information on radon testing and mitigation.

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What you need to know about Radon

Due to naturally occurring high levels of Radon in the soils of Central Ohio, the EPA recommends all Union County homeowners test their home for radon.  Radon is a naturally occurring odorless/colorless gas that enters into a building that is in contact with the ground, like basements. Because it is a gas it can enter through many different avenues including cracks in the foundation of a home, construction joints and gaps around service piping. High levels of Radon are very dangerous and can cause serious health complications. The EPA states that Radon is the second leading cause of cancer in the general population and the leading cause among non-smokers. 

 

The average national indoor radon level is 1.3 pCi/L (picocurie per liter).
The average indoor radon levels of Union County, as determined by radon test results from Air Chek, Inc, is 4.9 pCi/L

    Results under 2 pCi/L

    Results between 2 and 3.9 pCi/L

    Results 4 pCi/L and above

 

*Graph and data from:  http://oh-radon.info/

 

 

 

 

 

Radon Resistant New Construction

 

New regulations take effect Jan. 1, 2015 requiring radon reduction systems in new homes constructed in Union County. If you are planning to build a new home, please review the following radon resistant new construction rules from the Union County Building Department. 

icon Radon-Standards,-Union-County-Building-Dept.

For information on radon levels in Union County and a report on the effectiveness of Radon Resistant New Construction, please download the Radon Resistant New Construction Report below. 

icon Radon-Resistant-New-Construction-Report

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Thursday, 25 August 2011 01:41

Healthy Homes

We spend much of our time at home, so it is important to ensure our home is healthy. Healthy homes are those free of lead, mold, radon, mercury and pests. Protecting our drinking water and monitoring sewage systems is also critical. In this section, information is provided on keeping your home and family healthy.