Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Paul English, PhD, MPH

Branch Science Advisor

Paul English, PhD, MPH, is state environmental epidemiologist and branch scientific advisor for the Environmental Health Investigations Branch at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

English has more than 15 years of experience working in environmental public health for the CDPH. He focuses on the public health impacts of climate change, spatial epidemiology, environmental health issues at the U.S.-Mexico border, environmental links to asthma (in particular, exposure to traffic pollution) and adverse reproductive outcomes.

English was a World Health Organization advisor contributing to a systematic review of health indicators of climate change and has assisted local government and health agencies in India on heat preparedness.

Over the last seven years, English has served as principal investigator of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, which takes a community-based approach to develop surveillance and biomonitoring systems for environmental hazards, exposures and environmentally related chronic disease. He has been dedicated to responding to community needs and concerns regarding environmentally related disease by integrating environmental epidemiology, health education, community participation, geographic information systems and spatial methodologies, and health policy.

English received his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

Pesticide Exposures and Risk of Preterm Birth

This subcontract is contributing to the exposure assessment research project proposed by Dr. Gary Shaw of Stanford University. The California Environmental Health Tracking Program will, for example, provide input on the analysis of pesticide exposure for study subjects born in 8 California counties during 1997-2011; geocode addresses from birth certificates for 250,000-300,000 births; and link geocoded addresses to pesticide exposure metrics. 

Analysis of Hospital Claims Data Associated with Elevated Temperatures

This analysis uses claims data from a sample of hospitals to estimate increases in medical care services and costs associated with elevated temperatrues during the period 2007-2012.

Assessment of Environmental Health Data for the California/Mexico Border

This project's goals are to: publish a report presenting environmental health data, trends, and state/national comparisons for the California/Baja California border region; conduct a quality assurance assessment of data sources, including metadata documentation; develop a template that other U.S./Mexico Border regions could use; and produce recommendations and strategies on binational data exchange, and further data collection and integration of Mexican data.




California Environmental Health Tracking Network - Network Implementation

The California Environmental Health Tracking Network implementation project emphasizes the development of spatial analysis and visualization methods that enable state-of-the-art systems for predicting geographically related exposures to environmental hazards and relating those exposures to health indicators. This advances the fundamental goals of the Environmental Public Health Tracking program.

California Environmental Health Tracking Program CDC Support

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program conducts activities to maintain and enhance the Tracking Network, which will provide information to communities and other stakeholders to improve public health. Activities will strengthen environmental public health capacity, and provide access to health/environmental data for decision makers and the public they can use to implement programs, interventions and policies to address environmental health.

California Oil and Gas Real Time Air Monitoring

The goals of this project are to: 1) Produce materials and help with community meeting planning and presentations; 2) Review and provide input on monitor host training or recruitment materials and 3) Assist in planning of report dissemination strategy.

Emergency Department Data for Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

The Environmental Health Tracking program will provide the California EPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment with statewide data related to asthma and heart attack emergency department visits by census track or zip code.

EpiMapVis: A Climate and Remote Sensing Information System for Health Studies

The goal of this proposal is to develop a dynamic, web-based climate change and remote sending visualization system to support ongoing tracking activities of the California Environmental Health Tracking Program. A user needs and design assessment is being conducted to ensure the end users have improved access and usability of data.

Fire and Water: Investigating Drinking Water Contamination in Paradise, California after the Camp Fire

The Camp fire in November 2018 decimated the towns of Paradise and Magalia, California, burning nearly 14,000 homes but leaving about 1,700 homes in the area intact. Returning residents are now facing an unexpected threat: benzene contamination in the drinking water. This study is designed to answer the following questions: (1) What are the benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOC) concentrations inside homes? (2) Are there other contaminants, whether regulated or non-regulated, in the water system? and (3) Are there clues to the source of the contamination? We will collect samples from 10% of unburned homes (approximately 175 homes) for benzene and VOC analysis, and will do innovative non-targeted analyses at 20 homes to try to determine the source of the contamination. More information about the study is available here.

Greenaction Technical Assistance for Community Air Monitoring Project

The Tracking California program is providing technical assistance to Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice for the Community Air Monitoring Project by providing 1) Particulate matter monitoring; 2) Community engagement; 3) Data compilation and analysis; 4) Community outreach, training, and educational materials and 5) Performance evaluation.

Health Impact Assessment of Cap and Trade Regulations

This project will assist the California Department of Public Health in conducting a health impact assessment of the California Air Resources Board's key scenarios for a cap-and-trade program. This will provide decision makers with information about the potential health benefits or adverse health consequences of the policy design options.

Local, Scientifically Valid Geospatial Measures to Assess Community Vulnerability to Climate Change in California

This project focuses on developing a set of geospatial layers for Fresno and Los Angeles counties that can establish the likelihood of community-level heat islands and heat vulnerability. This can be used as a screening tool to guide policy makers and communities in efforts to address climate change impacts.

Metropolitan Area-Based Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Surveillance

In collaboration with McKing Consulting Service, this subcontract provides the Centerse for Disease Control and Prevention with data and analyses on the accuracy of data collected about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis from the metropolitan area surveillance systems.

Pregnancy Exposures to Pesticides as Risk Factors for Structural Birth Defects in Infants

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) will contribute to the exposure assessment research. Among other activities, CEHTP will obtain the geocodes (latitude, longitude) of approximately 6,000 birth defect cases and controls' maternal addresses (blinded to case/control status) and will link the geocodes to 1997-2008 agricultural pesticide use in California using the CEHTP pesticide linkage system

Project Heat Wave Magnitudes and Public Health Impacts

The goal of this project is to develop an analytic framework to advance knowledge of the relationship between ambient heat and morbidity and mortality as well as the underlying determinants of risk. This information can be translated into public health policy guidelines that reflect current (and future projected) climatological conditions.

The Parkinson’s Registry Investigation of Diagnosis and Etiology (PRIDE) Study

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) will assist the Northern California Institute for Research & Education's (NCIRE) exposure assessment research project by 1) Providing input on the analysis of hazards exposure for approximately 3,400 study subject in Santa Clara County; 2) Geocoding addresses and linking geocode addresses to hazard exposure metrics to be determined; 3) Returning all summarized exposure data linked to addresses to SCC Parkinson's Disease Registry for analysis; 4) Providing ongoing consultation regarding statistical analysis of the data produced and 5) Contributing to the writing of manuscripts.

Use of Community-Based Mapping and Monitoring to Reduce Air Pollution Exposures

This project's goals are to: 1) engage community members to define and map local hazards and assets to highlight factors contributing to cumulative exposures, community vulnerability and resilience; 2) deploy a network of inexpensive real-time air monitors that relay data to the Internet for immediate information on pollution levels; 3) use state of the art land use regression modeling to develop the most accurate and detailed picture possible of PM10, PM2.5, and NO2 exposures tin the county to identify hot spots near vulnerable populations; 4) develop a public health action plan for reducing exposures, improving health, and ensuring project sustainability; and 5) evaluate the project.

Water Boundary Tool Pilot Project

This project aims to expand California's Water Boundary Tool (WBT) infrastructure to enable its use by other State Environmental Public Health Tracking Networks and their drinking water regulatory organizations and public water systems. The ultimate vision is to establish a national WBT that will enable every drinking water service area in the US to be mapped and tracked over time. A central website will be developed, potentially with different state-specific sub-directories.

Guidebook for Developing a Community Air Monitoring Network (2018)

Download the guidebook Air pollution is a major threat to human health worldwide, and communit...

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Estimating the Proportion of Childhood Cancer Cases and Costs Attributable to the Environment in California (2017)

Objectives To estimate the proportion of cases and costs of the most common cancers among children aged 0 to 14 years (leukemia, lymphoma, and ...

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The Imperial County Community Air Monitoring Network: A Model for Community-based Environmental Monitoring for Public Health Action (2017)

Communities and regulatory agencies are discovering the utility of small, low-cost environmental sensors that are able to provide real-time informa...

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An Assessment of the Health and Safety Implications of Coal Transport through Oakland (2016)

Public Health Advisory Panel on Coal in Oakland: JUNE 13, 2016 A panel of public health experts considered the health and safety implications r...

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Electronic Health Records as a Resource for Public Health Surveillance (2016)

Case Study of Glycohemoglobin Testing & Diabetes Surveillance Electronic health records (EHR) are the digital version of a patient's pa...

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Webinar: Lancet Countdown on Public Health and Climate Change (2016)

In December 2016, Island Press, the Public Health Institute and the Security and Sustainability Forum held a webinar introducing the Lancet Countdo...

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Pesticide Use Near California Schoolchildren (2014)

California agriculture produces nearly half of all fruits and vegetables grown in the Unites States. These foods are essential components of a heal...

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California Breast Cancer Mapping Project (2012)

The California Breast Cancer Mapping Project analyzed breast cancer rates by census tract, as opposed to traditional county-level surveillance, and...

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Asthma is a major health issue in the United States and across the globe—impacting adults and children, and resulting in acute and sever...

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According to the WHO, cancer is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 mill...

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Climate Change

The Public Health Institute considers climate change to be one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. We are dedicated ...

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Population Health

Access to high-quality, affordable health care is critical. Yet health is also heavily determined by factors outside the doctor’s office, fro...

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Reproductive & Sexual Health

Giving women control over their childbearing and reproductive health gives them control over their lives. Policies and programs that support girls ...

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Research - Quantitative

To make an effective impact on community health, public health practices, programs and policies must be informed by accurate research and analysis....

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Research - Surveillance

Understanding emerging and existing health threats begins with good data. Public health surveillance ensures that researchers, programs, and policy...

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Research - Survey

The Public Health Institute believes in fostering health and well-being through rigorous quantitative and qualitative research, guided by the princ...

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School-based Efforts

The Public Health Institute champions community-based health solutions, working with partners to advance policy and environmental change strategies...

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Social Determinants of Health

Malnutrition, food insecurity and hunger often go hand-in-hand with obesity and chronic disease. Many vulnerable families live in neighborhoods tha...

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Technical Assistance

Today’s public health systems are challenged to do more with fewer resources. Strengthening public health systems and services is fundamental...

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