PH+Lecture+6+A+Clean+Environment

PH+Lecture+6+A+Clean+Environment - Lecture 6: A Clean...

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Lecture 6: A Clean Environment A Basic Requirement for Public Health
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Overview Environmental Hazards Clean Air Legislation Clean Water Legislation Oil Spill in Gulf Solid Waste disposal
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Role of Government in Environmental Health Environment is beyond the control of individuals – everyone is responsible – Local governments provide clean water and disposal of wastes As population grew, environmental problems transcended local government
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Role of Government, cont. 1960s and 1970s – state and federal governments took more responsibility Clean Air, Clean Water and Solid Waste legislation Now, world population growth has led to global environmental problems
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Environmental Hazards A major role of government is to identify environmental hazards and set safety standards. Hazards include the following issues: - Radiation - Mercury - Lead - Asbestos - Pesticides and industrial chemicals - Radon
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Radiation Natural ultraviolet light from the sun – skin cancer and melanoma X rays used in medicine and dentistry Lessons on health effects of radiation learned from atomic bombings in Japan
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Mercury Emissions from coal-burning power plants in US leads to air pollution, water pollution, contamination of fish Concern about fever thermometers, school laboratory equipment
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Lead Harmful to brain and nervous system, especially of children – often no obvious symptoms Contamination of drinking water by lead pipes and lead sodder for copper pipes Major problems in old/substandard homes – used in paint until 1977
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Article: “To Nullify Lead, Add a Bunch of Fish Bones” Creative, and cheap, ways to deal with environmental problems As fish bones break down, the elements go into soil and bond with the lead to form a new substance that is not harmful to humans.
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Article, Fish Bones, cont. Some towns are turning to this process as a way to remediate soil that has high amount of lead. It is much cheaper and efficient than replacing toxic soil.
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Asbestos Was widely used because of fire resistance Was required in schools between 1940 and 1973 Still a danger from deteriorating walls and ceilings Fibrous dust causes scarring of lungs (asbestosis) and mesothelioma (cancer) World Trade Center – clean-up and rescue workers
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Pesticides and Industrial Chemicals Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring – 1962 – beginning of environmental movement DDT and other pesticides– now banned PCBs – industrial uses Hudson River – contaminates fish Production halted in US by 1977 Affects reproduction, nervous system, immune system, maybe cancer. PCB’s remain in the body’s fatty tissue. (PCB = polychlorinated biphenyls)
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Radon Radon in soil seeps into homes Can’t see, smell or taste it Water supply Concern for basement living spaces Routes of exposure – inhalation, ingestion Radon in Water Well water, not public water supply
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This note was uploaded on 11/19/2011 for the course 832 232 taught by Professor Marcibergen during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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PH+Lecture+6+A+Clean+Environment - Lecture 6: A Clean...

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