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While the environmental movement was rapidly expanding, the public health, environmental health, and occupational health and safety professionals continued to work toward preventing disease and injury and promoting good health through the prevention, minimization, and control of factors in the environment that affected people. Also, in 1970 the Occupational Safety and Health Act had been signed into law by President Nixon thereby creating the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). NIOSH, a branch of the CDC, had three charges: providing research to reduce illnesses and injuries from work situations; using new techniques to promote safety and health in workplaces; and working with international groups to enhance safety and health on a global basis.

These health professionals embraced the recommendations of the CDC, the American Public Health Association, the National Association of Local Boards of Health, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the Public Health Foundation. The steering committee of this group devised the National Public Health Performance Standards Program. In 1994, they developed a list of the 10 essential public health services that should be performed in all communities. They stated that the local and state health agencies are extremely important and need to strengthen their capacity to identify and manage health problems.

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