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Biological hazards : from more than 1,400 pathogens.
Chemical hazards : in air, water, soil, and food.
Physical hazards : such as fire, earthquake, volcanic eruption…
Cultural hazards : such as smoking, poor diet, unsafe sex, drugs, unsafe working conditions, and poverty.
BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS: DISEASE IN DEVELOPED AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Diseases not caused by living organisms cannot spread from one person to another ( nontransmissible disease ), while those caused by living organisms such as bacteria and viruses can spread from person to person ( transmissible or infectious )
Estimating human exposure to chemicals and their effects is very difficult because of the many and often poorly understood variables involved.
Fig. 18-11, p. 431 Water pollutant levels Air pollutant levels Soil/dust levels Food pesticide levels Nutritional health Overall health Mathematical measurements & modeling ? Lifestyle Predicted level of toxicant in people Personal habits Genetic predisposition Metabolism Accumulation Excretion Lung, intestine & skin absorption rates
Some scientists and health officials say that preliminary but not conclusive evidence that a chemical causes significant harm should spur preventive action ( precautionary principle ).
Manufacturers contend that wide-spread application of the precautionary principle would make it too expensive to introduce new chemicals and technologies.
How Would You Vote? Should we rely more on the precautionary principle as a way to reduce the risks from chemicals and technologies?
a. No. Assuming that every chemical or technology is a serious health or environmental threat will lead to wasteful over-regulation, high costs and hinder the development of critically needed pesticides, plastics, and other commercial products.
b. Yes. Preventing the commercialization of harmful chemicals and technologies is better than dealing with the high costs of medical treatments and environmental damage.
Number of deaths per year in the world from various causes. Parentheses show deaths in terms of the number of fully loaded 400-passenger jumbo jets crashing every day of the year with no survivors.
Fig. 18-13, p. 435 Cause of death Annual deaths Poverty/malnutrition/ disease cycle 11 million (75) Tobacco 5 million (34) Pneumonia and flu 3.2 million (22) Air pollution 3 million (21) HIV/AIDS Malaria 2 million (14) Diarrhea 1.9 million (13) Tuberculosis 1.7 million (12) Car accidents 1.2 million (8) Work-related injury & disease 1.1 million (8) Hepatitis B 1 million (7) Measles 800,000 (5) 3 million (21)
Comparisons of risks people face expressed in terms of shorter average life span.
Fig. 18-14, p. 436 Shortens average life span in the U.S. by Hazard Poverty Born male Smoking Overweight (35%) Unmarried 5 years Overweight (15%) 2 years Spouse smoking 1 year Driving 7 months Air pollution 5 months Alcohol 5 months Drug abuse 4 months Flu 4 months AIDS 3 months Drowning 1 month Pesticides 1 month Fire 1 month Natural radiation 8 days Medical X rays 5 days Oral contraceptives 5 days Toxic waste 4 days Flying 1 day Hurricanes, tornadoes 1 day Lifetime near nuclear plant 10 hours 6 years 6 –10 years 7.5 years 7–10 years