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Environmental Health and Hazards

​The Environmental and Occupational Health Division protects people from exposure to health hazards in homes, workplaces, and public spaces, prioritizing health equity and environmental justice.

Services

Services

We conduct inspections and regulatory enforcement in response to environmental hazard concerns. We work to ensure that responsible parties eliminate identified hazards.

To report a health hazard or request an inspection, call 617-534-5965 or email environment@bphc.org

We inspect hazards in:
  • private residence

  • public buildings 
  • workplaces
  • outdoor spaces
Common investigated hazards:
  • mold in homes and businesses
  • asbestos hazard or illegal asbestos removal
  • bedbugs
  • lead hazards and illegal deleading
  • chemical spills and exposures
  • waste disposal and recycling issues

We regulate and permit different business types in Boston to protect the health of all Boston residents. For more information visit the Permits page.

If you have a concern about a business, call 617-534-5965 or email environment@bphc.org

Permitted businesses include:
  • asbestos abatement jobs (we do not permit contractors)
  • biological research laboratories
  • body art establishments and practitioners 
  • burial permits
  • funeral directors and homes
  • indoor ice skating rinks
  • medical marijuana dispensaries and agents 
  • nail salons
  • private water wells
  • specific solid waste businesses 
  • tanning salons

Our Safe Shops outreach program provides technical support and resources to small businesses such as nail salons, hair salons, and auto shops. Our goal is to reduce both pollution and chemical exposure for workers, clients, and neighbors. Click here to learn more about Safe Shops, as well as our recognition of small businesses as Green & Clean

We support the health and wellbeing of children exposed to lead by providing comprehensive investigation, case management, and enforcement. We also provide training, outreach, and education to prevent childhood lead poisoning. If you are concerned about lead poisoning or want more information about lead, call 617-534-5965 or email leadpoisoning@bphc.org.

We play an active role in city efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change​.

To request information about permits issued, inspections and enforcement activities, and lead case records, please complete the form below and email it to ehpermits@bphc.org.

Information Request Form

Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice

The Environmental Health Office applies the principles of environmental justice to our work. Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies.

Meaningful Involvement means:

  • people have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health
  • the public's contribution can influence the regulatory agency's decision
  • their concerns are considered in the decision making process
  • the decision makers seek out and facilitate the involvement of those affected
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