Montana Department of Health and Human Services Logo Link to Dashboard
Big Sky. New Horizons. A Healthier Montana.

Prevent injuries and exposures to environmental hazards

Unintentional injuries cause almost half of all deaths among children, teens, and young adults. One third of unintentional injury deaths occur in vehicle crashes. Four out of five people who die in vehicle crashes are unrestrained by seat belts or age-appropriate car seats. Montana consistently ranks among the top ten states for the highest occupational injury and fatality rates, in part because many Montanans work in high-risk occupations. However, a large proportion of occupational injuries and fatalities are also caused by vehicle crashes. Strengthening and better enforcing motor vehicle safety policies can reduce injuries and save lives. Environmental hazards are known to exist; these hazards can be found both indoors and outdoors. The public health system works to identify and mitigate exposures that can potentially lead to adverse health effects.

Health Indicators: By 2018

  • Increase the proportion of motor vehicle occupants in Montana that report they wear seat belts from 73% to 83%
  • Decrease the proportion of fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes that involve alcohol-impaired drivers from 45% to 40%
  • Increase the proportion of children continuously enrolled in Medicaid aged 1-5 years who are screened at least once for lead from 18% to at least 90%
  • Increase the proportion of all state-licensed establishments inspected annually by a registered sanitarian from 85% to 95%
  • Decrease the proportion of children aged 17 or younger who live in households with adults who report smoking from 31% to 25%


D1. Public Health Policies

D.1.1 Strengthen and enforce motor vehicle safety policies

D.1.2 Maintain and enforce the Repeat DUI Offender Program

D.1.3 Maintain and enforce the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act

D.1.4 Enforce open burning regulations by permit, and enforce burning bans during periods of air inversion

D.1.5 Support communities to adopt emissions standards for home heating wood- and pellet-burning stoves

D.1.6 Ensure that all public water suppliers comply with drinking water standards

D.1.7 Ensure that pesticides do not have adverse impacts on human health and the environment

D.1.8 Support worksites to implement health promotion policies that promote safety and prevent injuries and exposures to environmental hazards

D2. Prevention and Health Promotion Efforts

D.2.1 Increase awareness of injury prevention and potential exposures to environmental health hazards through public education (e.g., Rocky Mountain Poison Control Hotline, seatbelt and car seat use, timely health advisories to ambient air and water quality monitoring )

D.2.2 Support communities to implement evidence-based fall prevention programs

D.2.3 Promote the use of the Montana Prescription Drug Registry

D.2.4 Provide home-based education and environmental assessment to households of children with uncontrolled asthma or elevated blood lead levels through programs such as maternal and child home visiting

D.2.5 Encourage schools and childcare settings to conduct environmental assessments to identify and remediate asthma triggers, potential sources of exposure to lead, and other environmental health hazards

D3. Access to Care, Particularly Clinical Preventative Services

D.3.1 Implement quality improvement activities that improve the delivery of clinical preventive services and the use of clinical practice guidelines (e.g., blood lead screening for high-risk children aged 1-5 years, asthma control plans for children with asthma, counseling on drinking and driving, seat belt use)

D.3.2 Ensure that 90% or more of children with blood lead levels > 5ug/dL reported to DPHHS receive appropriate treatment and that their households receive home environmental assessments and caregiver education expand the number of non-traditional settings)

D4. Montana's Public Health and Health Care System

D.4.1 Provide training and resources to health professionals, schools, and health-related organizations to facilitate programs to reduce potential exposures to environmental health hazards and unintentional injuries (e.g., detection and mitigation of asthma triggers, lead and other exposures; injury prevention programs)

D.4.2 Maintain public health surveillance systems to monitor potential exposures to environmental health hazards (e.g., protocols to identify and investigate potential adverse health effects attributed to environmental causes) and produce regular surveillance reports based on the data collected

D.4.3 Facilitate the achievement of injury prevention goals through implementation of health care reform activities

D.4.4 Support timely licensure and inspection of all licensed establishments (restaurants, public accommodations, other recreational facilities, and body art establishments)

D.4.5 Assure certification of all laboratories that test public drinking water supplies