Environmental Health programs are essential to public health. They work to achieve a safe and healthy environment for the community. Detecting and correcting environmental dangers is the job of your county's environmental section in the health department. Through public education, periodic inspection, investigation of complaints, and enforcement of laws in relation to safety and sanitation, your environmental specialist makes your community safer.
Tavares Environmental Health
315 W. Main Street, Tavares 32778
After Hours Environmental Health Emergency
Animal Bites/Rabies Prevention
Environmental Health Services coordinates with local agencies to create an effective rabies control program.
Rabies is a deadly disease that can be prevented, but not cured. The virus attacks the nerves and brain tissue of warm-blooded animals including humans.
Persons who have experienced an animal bite should:
- Immediately scrub the wound with lots of soap and running water for five to ten minutes.
- Try to get a complete description of the animal and determine where it is so that animal control can pick it up for quarantine or rabies testing. Please contact Lake County Animal Services at 352-343-9688 or Lake County Health Department Environmental Health Services at 352-253-6130.
- Go to your family doctor or the nearest emergency room immediately. When medical treatment is received for an animal bite, the doctor or emergency room staff will report the incident to Lake County Health Department Disease Control staff at 352-357-1668.
- Prophylactic treatment to prevent rabies may be required if the animal cannot be located and tested, or if the animal is tested and found to be rabid.
- If the animal is located, it will either be quarantined for ten days (if it is a dog, cat or ferret) or be sacrificed and tested for rabies.
IMPORTANT: If you kill the animal, be careful not to damage the head and avoid further contact with the animal even though it is dead.
If you have additional questions about animal bites click here for the link(s) to the:
Body Art Program
Florida's body-piercing law, section 381.0075, Florida Statutes, became effective October 1, 1999. The intent of the legislation was to protect "the health, safety, and welfare of the public from the spread of infectious diseases from practices that prick, pierce, or scar the skin." The law authorizes the Department of Health to adopt rules for implementing the statutory requirements. Accordingly, Chapter 64E-19, Body Piercing, Florida Administrative Code, was promulgated by the Bureau of Community Environmental Health.
Florida's total population of licensed body-piercing salons remains relatively stable at approximately 400 but is quite fluid with about 20% annual turnover. Salons are inspected at least annually by teams composed of a nurse and an environmental-health professional in order to survey a salon's conditions with respect to sterilization, sanitation, safety, and standard precautions. An establishment may be issued a temporary license to operate at a fixed location for not more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration. A temporary salon must meet the same requirements for licensing as must a salon that operates at a fixed location for up to a year.
Information relative to tattooing, permanent make-up, and temporary black henna tattoos in Florida may be obtained by contacting our office.
Biomedical Waste Program
In an effort to protect public health, the 1989 Florida legislature created section 381.0098, Florida Statutes (F.S.). This section sets forth standards for the safe packaging, transport, storage, treatment, and disposal of biomedical waste. Under the rule writing authority of section 381.0098, F.S., the department promulgated Chapter 64E-16, Florida Administrative Code, for implementation of the statutory requirements.
There are approximately 30,000 biomedical waste facilities in Florida including generators, transporters, and storage and treatment facilities. County Health Departments (CHDs) having jurisdiction for biomedical waste activities annually inspect and permit transporters, storage and treatment facilities, and generators who produce 25 pounds or more of biomedical waste in any 30-day period. Generators producing less than 25 pounds of biomedical waste in any 30-day period are exempt from permitting and the fee upon documentation of the amount of waste they produce. CHDs inspect exempt facilities once every three years.
Regular inspections in schools, childcare centers, hospitals, nursing homes, bars, lounges, institutional and detention facilities, and similar establishments. Food-borne illnesses are also causes of inspection.
Environmental Health Group Community Facilities include inspecting the following: Adult living facilities, nursing homes, residental group homes, schools (public, private, and charter), foster homes, day care, etc.
Migrant Labor Camps
Camps are inspected to insure sanitary living conditions and to control the potential contraction and spread of disease.
Mobile Home and RV Parks and Recreational Camps
Mobile Home and RV Parks and Recreational Camps are inspected for water,sewer, animal control, refuse disposal, unit spacing and density and environmental sanitation to assure public health, welfare and safety.
The environmental Health Public Pool program inspects commercial pools, spas, Bathing Areas and Water Attractions semiannually and promptly investigates and evaluates complaints to assure public health, welfare and saftey.
Sewage and Waste
Onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems or septic tank systems are permitted and inspected by environmental health. Inspection reduces the chance for pollution of ground water and surface water, and eliminates the potential for the spread of infectious diseases.
Any nuisance that is potentialy hazardous to the public's health are investigated. These may include: overflowing septic tanks, rats and vermin, improper garbage disposal, and other conditions that may be hazardous to your health.
Tanning beds and booths are inspected to make sure timers are accurate, tanning bulbs are proper, and beds are properly sanitized.
Water services issue construction and operating permits for Department of Health small community and commercial limited use water systems. Environmental Health has a Delegated Well Permitting program with the Saint Johns River Water Management District, to issue permits on wells less than 6 inches in diameter within Lake County district areas. The Water Services group monitors groundwater in delineated areas, performs contamination sampling (Ethylene Di-Bromide) for pesticides in old grove/agricultural areas, and inspects wells for chemical contaminations. The Water Services group records site readings on technical field equipment, turn in GPS info by electronically uploading data transferred e-mail coordinates to Tallahassee Bureau of Water Programs. Then maps are performed and provided to DEP by DOH Bureau of Water Programs.