Regular updates from our Digital Content Executive, Sam Cleal


A new clean air act is needed – now

30 August 2017


Guest blog by Debbie Wood, Director of Membership & Professional Development. Originally published at Public Finance 

Talk to your parents or grandparents and they’ll confirm air pollution used to be more visible, as the extensive burning of domestic and industrial fuel emitted large amounts of soot and particulates. Today, the air is visibly cleaner thanks to legislation, such as the Clean Air Act 1956, and the work of environmental health professionals.

However, major but far less visible problems persist. Poor outdoor air quality results in an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK and there is evidence that it contributes to illnesses such as cancer, stroke, asthma and heart disease.

In addition, air pollution costs UK businesses and healthcare services more than £20bn a year – a considerable sum and surely large enough to prompt an urgent response by the government.

Sadly, the opposite is true. The government has been taken to court several times to get it to produce air quality plans, resulting in lacklustre responses, and there have been countless campaigns to raise awareness. Ministers are still failing to grasp the enormity of the situation.

The latest plans to tackle air pollution, issued at the end of July, had much of a focus on ending the sale of all petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

While this is a positive step, 2040 is far too late and the government needs to create incentives to remove these polluting vehicles from the road as soon as possible.

What really concerns the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health is that, yet again, the government fails to see that poor air quality is a national issue and continues – unfairly – to offload responsibility for it onto local authorities.

Read full article >> 


Work-based learning: the story so far

23 August 2017


Guest blog by William Hatchett, EHN Editor 

CIEH has launched two new flexible work-based learning programmes – HACCP and First Aid at Work. In both cases, foundation (level 2) and intermediate (level 3) certificates are available.

For food operatives and managers, the HACCP programmes will raise awareness of food hazards and explain how HACCP systems are implemented. Candidates will learn about the analysis and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards from production through to handling and distribution. Both programmes fully support the CIEH Food Safety Programmes and can add depth where integrated.

The First Aid programmes support employers to meet their legal requirement to make first aid provision at work available and through the training of mangers and staff to become proficient as first aiders. The programmes focus on the skills and knowledge needed by first aiders to administer competently and confidently first aid to casualties in a prompt, safe and effective manner. They include conducting scene surveys and risk assessment as well as the specifics of how to treat various illnesses and injuries at work. The course will give learners confidence to respond to a range of incidents and emergencies that they may encounter.

Launched earlier this year, CIEH’s portfolio of work-based training programmes, as part of Partners in Professionalism, now includes Food Safety, Occupational Health and Safety, HACCP and First Aid at Work.

Abi Lammas, CIEH learning director, said: ‘The model that we have developed to deliver these programmes is agile, flexible and cost-effective. It meets the needs of the busy employer, while ensuring rigour and a recognised, quality kitemark through CIEH's Chartered Awarding Body.

‘The fact that CIEH is the voice and representative body for the environmental health profession means we can be highly responsive to policy or legal changes, updating our content to reflect this. All the programmes are running on a robust feedback and review schedule, so customers can expect to see the content being regularly updated where appropriate and of course any changes will be communicated in a timely way.’ To find out more phone 020 7827 5800 or email


7 facts about the beauty industry that may shock you

11 August 2017

CIEH Beauty

This October, CIEH will hold a beauty conference to explore current issues and emerging trends within the sector, with an emphasis on the lack of regulation for a wide range of non-surgical and special treatments.

These kinds of treatments are widely unregulated. In England (with the exception of London) providers of special treatments are only required to register their name and premises, and do not need a licence. This limits the control that local authorities have over their activities. CIEH has alerted successive governments to the need for proper training in this area for over 20 years. Yet, as these highly invasive procedures become more mainstream, people are less concerned about the risks and many are not aware that what they consider to be safe procedures can cause serious injury or expose them to serious illnesses such as Hepatitis B & C and HIV.

Here are 7 facts that reveal the dangerous side of the UK beauty industry today.

  1. There is no age limit for piercing in the UK, except for genital and nipple piercings which cannot be carried out on those under 16 years old. Source.
  2. Microneedling is a treatment that helps improve the appearance of scars and wrinkles, but the puncturing of skin causes bleeding that can lead to cross-infection and micro wounds.
  3. Dracula therapy (also known as platelet rich plasma, PRP therapy, S3, self-stimulated serum or even vampire therapy) involves using your own blood as an injectable anti-ageing treatment.
  4. Some procedures such as tongue splitting, in which the muscle is literally cut down the centre, can prove fatal.
  5. Often beauty therapists carry out teeth whitening, which involves the use of peroxide and can cause permanent damage if not administered by a qualified practitioner. This amounts to the practice of dentistry and can only legally be undertaken by people registered by the General Dental Council (dentists and dental hygienists).
  6. Though the risk is low, fish spas have been known to carry a range of waterborne infections that can be transmitted from either from fish to person, water to person or person to person. Source.
  7. A Wolverhampton rogue tattoo artist named ‘Dr Evil’ was this year charged with wounding and GBH after he administered non-surgical tongue-splitting, ear and nipple removal procedures without anaesthetic. Source.

We are continuing to campaign for all beauty treatments to be appropriately regulated to protect the health of the public. This can be achieved through the licensing in England and Northern Ireland of tattooists and premises offering body-altering treatments, which has just been introduced in Wales through public health legislation.


PHE toolkit encourages healthier eating over summer holidays

01 August 2017

PHE toolkit

With the summer holidays upon us, CIEH is recommending this is the ideal time for local authorities and food businesses to consider initiatives set out in PHE’s toolkit to encourage healthier eating options.

Reducing obesity, particularly among children, is one of PHE’s top priorities. It is estimated that the NHS in England spent £6.1 billion on overweight and obesity-related ill-health in 2014 to 2015.

The increase of people eating out of the home has been identified as an important factor contributing to rising levels of obesity. One fifth of children eat food from out-of-home food outlets at least once a week and these meals tend to be associated with higher levels of fat, sugar, and salt, and lower levels of micronutrients.

Complementing national strategies, such as the soft drinks industry levy, PHE has developed the Strategies for Encouraging Healthier ‘Out of Home’ Food Provision toolkit to support local councils and independent food businesses help children and families choose healthier food when they’re out and about.

Developed in partnership with CIEH, London Metropolitan University, Children’s Food Trust and Local Government Association, the toolkit’s primary audience is environmental health, trading standards and public health teams within local councils.

PHE’s toolkit suggests local authorities take leadership on healthy eating outside the home and outlines opportunities to manage new business applications, while working with existing food outlets to provide healthier food.

Local authorities will be able to find within the toolkit information that supports the need for intervention, different types of intervention, how to monitor and evaluate initiatives and examples of good practice.

And the toolkit is not just for councils as the healthier catering guidance, which accompanies the toolkit, provides tips for food business, such as takeaways, bakers, sandwich and coffee shops, on how they could also provide and promote healthier food and drink for children and families.

PHE Team Leader Diet and Obesity, Jamie Blackshaw, said: “The increasing consumption of out-of-home meals has been identified as an important factor contributing to rising levels of obesity. As part of a whole systems approach to tackling obesity we need to make the healthier choices the easy choice when eating out of the home. I hope this toolkit will inspire local councils to take action, and build on what they are already doing to change the obesogenic environment.”

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