Environmental Health Chapter 19
Environmental Health • Seen as encompassing all the interactions of humans with their environment and the health consequences of these interactions. • Our responsibility • Environmental problems are complex and seem beyond the control of the individual.
Environmental health defined • Grew out of efforts to control communicable diseases • United States developed a huge, complex health system designed to deal with these critical health concerns. • Natural disaster • Human made disaster
Population growth and control • World population – 6.6 Billion • Increasing at a rate of 76 million per year • 150 people every minute • How many people can the world hold? • Already exceed earths capacity by 20% • Food • Available land and water • Energy • Minimum acceptable standard of living
Factors that contribute to population growth • High fertility rates • Lack of family planning • Lower death rates • For population management to be successful there needs to be improvement of: • Poverty • Remove the pressures for having a large family • Improved health • Better education • Increased literacy • Employment opportunities for women • Family planning
Air quality and pollution • Is not a human invention or even a new problem • Air Quality and Smog • Five major air pollutants: • Carbon Monoxide (CO) • Sulfur dioxide (SO2) • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) • Particulate matter (PM) • Ground-level ozone AQI values run from 0 to 500; the higher the AQI, the greater of pollution and associated health danger.
The greenhouse effect and global warming • The temperature of the earth’s atmosphere depends on the balance between the amount of energy the earth absorbs and the amount of energy radiated back into space. • Greenhouse effect • Reradiation causing a buildup of heat that raises the temperature of the lower atmosphere. • Global warming • Concentration of greenhouse gases • Possible consequences • Increased rainfall and flooding • Increased mortality from heat stress • A poleward shift of 50-350 miles
The greenhouse effect and global warming • Thinning of the Ozone Layer • A fragile, invisible layer about 10-30 miles about the earth’s surface • Shields the planet from the sun’s hazardous ultraviolet (UV) rays • Being destroyed primarily by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) • Coolants in refrigerators • Foaming agents • Insulation • Propellants • Solvents • Energy use and air pollution • U.S. is the biggest energy consumers in the world
The greenhouse effect and global warming • Indoor air pollution • Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) • Carbon monoxide and other combustion by-products • Formaldehyde gas • Biological pollutants • Indoor mold • Preventing air pollution • Cut back driving • Keep your car tuned up • Buy energy-efficient appliances • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent • Home is well-insulated • Plant and care for trees • Local waste hauler will remove ozone-depleting refrigerants from disposed refrigerators • Adequately ventilate your house to reduce indoor air pollution • Tightly seal paints, cleaning agents and other chemicals • Don’t smoke • Clean and inspect chimneys, furnaces and other appliances
Water quality and pollution • Ensuring safe, clean drinking water • Purifying water in a water-treatment plants • Screening • Filtration • Disinfection (chlorine) • Fluoridation • Reduces tooth decay by 15-40% for than 60 years
Water shortages • Too rapid growth of some regions of the U.S. is taxing the local system • World Health Organization • 1 billion people do not have safe drinking water • 2.6 billion do not have access to basic sanitation
Sewage • The connection of disease and contact with contaminate water • Typhoid • Cholera • Hepatitis A • Direct contact with human feces • Modern day • Septic systems • Sewage-treatment systems
Protect the water supply • Take showers, not baths • Install sing faucet aerators • Water-savor toilets • Fix any leaky faucets • Do not flush old medications • Don’t pour toxic material down the drain
Solid waste Pollution • Average American generates 4.6 pounds of trash per day; about 1.5 pounds of this is recycled. • What’s in our garbage? • Paper products make up the largest amount of household trash. • Yard waste • Plastic • Metals • Glass • 1% of solid waste is toxic • Computer components • Disposal of solid waste • Sanitary landfill • Biodegradability • Recycling • Discarded technology
Figure 19-6 Components of municipal solid waste, by weight, before recycling
Reducing Solid waste • Buy products with the least amount of packaging • Buy recycled or recyclable products • Avoid using foam or paper cups • Use glass to store food • Recycle paper, plastic, glass and aluminum • Do not throw electronic items – recycle them • Start a compost pile • Stop junk mail
Chemical Pollution and hazardous waste • 1970’s – EPA established the Superfund program • To clean up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. • To date, the EPA has completed clean-ups at 966 hazardous waste sites • Superfund national priorities list includes 1255 sites as of May 2008. • Asbestos • Mineral-based compound • Asbestosis, lung cancer, and other serious lung diseases. • Lead • Pesticides • Murcury
Preventing chemical pollution • Read the labels, and try to buy the least toxic products. • Dispose of your household hazardous waste properly • Buy organic produce • Store pesticides or toxic household products in a locked place • Use a licensed exterminator
Radiation pollution • Radiation is energy • Nuclear weapons and power • 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S. • Medical uses of Radiation • X-rays • Radiation in the Home and Workplace • Electromagnetic radiation • Microwave oven • Computer monitor • Cell phones • High-voltage power lines • Radon gas • Avoiding radiation • Only get x-rays when necessary • Follow the Surgeon General’s recommendations for radon testing • Find out if there are radioactive sites in your area.
Noise Pollution • Effects of loud or persistent noise in the environment • Greater than 80-85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. • Sporting events • Rock concerts • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) • Sets legal standards for noise in the workplace. • Some ways to avoid exposing yourself to excessive noise • When listening to music with headphones keep the volume at 6 or below • Avoid loud music • Avoid exposure to painfully loud sounds (above 80 decibels)
You and your environment • Become a part of larger community actions to work for a healthier world: • Share what you have learned • Join, support, or volunteer your time • Contact your elected representatives and communicate your concerns
Environmental Health Chapter 19