Division of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health (BEOH)

The Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health promotes public health through statewide programs to increase public awareness of environmental and occupational health hazards and disease and works to prevent and control exposure to environmental and occupational health hazards. Information regarding environmental health issues can be found on the Environmental Health Resources web site. The Bureau provides tracking of environmental and occupational illness through disease surveillance programs, provides consultation to employers, local public health agencies and the public on many technical issues and promotes risk reduction through assessment, evaluation and control of environmental and occupational hazards. The Bureau regulates and licenses restaurants, lodging and recreational facilities, x-ray equipment, radioactive materials and devices and certifies lead and asbestos workers, food managers and environmental health professionals.

The Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health has four sections: Health Hazard Evaluation Section, Lead and Asbestos Section, Food Safety and Recreational Licensing Section and the Radiation Protection Section.

The Health Hazard Evaluation Section tracks environmental and occupational diseases and conditions, performs assessment of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, provides technical support on indoor air quality, asthma and other environmental issues and conducts research and provides information regarding the health risks associated with sports fish consumption. Toxicologists within the Section prepare recommendations for groundwater and ambient air quality standards.

The Lead and Asbestos Section tracks adult and childhood lead poisoning in Wisconsin, prepares policies and guidance on case follow-up and management, and develops strategies to prevent lead poisoning. A registry of lead-safe and lead-free properties is maintained. Also section staff certify lead and asbestos workers. 

The Food Safety and Recreational Licensing Section licenses restaurants, lodging facilities, swimming pools and spas, campgrounds, recreational/educational camps and body art practitioners and facilities. The Section also registers environmental health professionals and certifies food managers.

The Radiation Protection Section inspects and licenses X-ray devices and mammography facilities, radioactive materials and devices. The Section provides technical support regarding the control of indoor radon and provides environmental monitoring around Wisconsin’s nuclear energy facilities. The Section maintains emergency response capability for energy or transportation incidents, or potential acts of terrorism involving radioactive materials.

The Bureau has key relationships with local health departments, community-based organizations, private voluntary organizations, academic and health care provider networks. The Bureau maintains strong working relationships with small employers; restaurant, lodging and tourism industries; utilities; housing industry; and, labor.

Last Revised: July 25, 2016