A Healthier Environment• Name some of the direct and indirect health risks associated with climate change.• List the effects of ozone and particle pollution on lung health and functioning.• Define sustainability and describe ways college campuses can promote sustainability.• Discuss the risks of prolonged exposure to sounds over 85 decibels and how to protect their hearing.• Compare and contrast bottled and tap water.• Identify the major indoor pollutants.• List the key sources and health risks of electromagnetic fields.• Evaluate their personal habits and identify ways they can adopt behaviors that will support sustainability. Chapter Learning Objectives
The Environment and Your Health We cannot separate our individual health from that of the environment in which we live. • The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the three major environmental threats to health: •Unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene. •Indoor air pollution from solid fuel use. •Outdoor air pollution. • Climate Change •According to WHO, the world’s climate is changing in significant ways and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
Health Risks Of Climate Change Effects of natural disasters such as: Heat waves Direct Hurricanes Floods, tsunamis Changing patterns of infectious disease Indirect Depletion of fresh water Food availability
“Your Health Action Plan for Protecting the Planet” • Wash laundry in warm or cold water, not hot. • Buy products sold in simple packaging. • Carry a tote bag or recycle shopping bags. • Switch from standard light bulbs to energy-efficient fluorescent ones. • Set room thermostats lower in winter and higher in summer. • Run dishwashers only when full. • Bike, carpool, or take mass transit whenever possible.
Three Greenhouse Gases Gas Source Carbon Burning of fossil fuels and wood Dioxide Producing fossil fuels Methane Livestock Decomposition of organic wastes Nitrous Agricultural and industrial processes Oxide
The Impact of Pollution: Definitions • Pollutant • A substance or agent in the environment, usually the byproduct of human industry or activity, that is injurious to human, animal, or plant life. • Pollution • The presence of pollutants in the environment. • Mutagen • An agent that causes alteration in the genetic material (DNA) of living cells.
The Impact of Pollution: Definitions • Carcinogen • A substance or agent that causes cancer. • Teratogen • A mutagens that can crosses the placenta of a pregnant woman and causes spontaneous abortion or birth defects in the fetus. • Ozone • A form of oxygen that is a harmful component of air pollution.
Health Problems Linked To Pollution Allergy and Asthma Headaches Dizziness and Nausea Heart Disease Chest Pain Birth defects Higher mortality from Reproductive problems strokes Vomiting Eye irritation Impaired vision Sore throat Stomach Cancer Cough
Air Pollution Effects Destroy cilia Lung Chronic bronchitis Emphysema Increase atherosclerosis Heart Death due to heart disease Children Impair lung development
Ozone Is The Primary Air Pollutant Form of oxygen that is harmful when in Defined the lower atmosphere Most influence on young, senior Impact citizens, outdoor enthusiasts and workers, those with respiratory disease Premature death Shortness of breath, wheezing Effects Chest pain on inhalation Susceptibility to respiratory infections
Particle Pollution Is Most Dangerous Small particles in air which get trapped Defined in lungs Diminishes lung function in everyone Increases number and severity of asthma attacks Effects Increased risk of heart attack and stroke in elderly and prior heart condition Increased mortality of infants and young children Live within 1/3 mile of highway High Risk Spending time in heavy traffic
Sustainability Has Three Components Use of as little as possible of resources Defined that cannot be renewed Precycle – consider before purchase Recycle – reusing materials that would 3 Parts be considered trash Composting – turning organic material into rich soil
The Water You Drink • According to CDC, each year, there are about 7,400 cases of illness related to water contamination. • Sources of water contamination: Parasites Lead Viruses Bacteria Chemicals • Most consumer water filters can block certain pathogens that can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.
Bottled Water or Tap Water? No scientific reason to recommend bottled water over tap water Disposable bottles pose risk to environment 30 million PET bottles require 17 million barrels of oil to make Switching to reusable bottles reduces waste Glass is safest and eco-friendly Metal (aluminum or stainless steel) Hard plastic (polycarbonate)
Leading Pollutants Of Indoor Air • Tobacco smoke • Radon • Molds • Household Products • Formaldehyde • Pesticides • Asbestos • Lead
Indoor PollutantsNonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke, includingchildren, face increased risk of developing lung cancer andheart disease.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Smoke burning from end of pipe, cigarette ETS or cigar or exhaled from smoker’s mouth Secondhand– passive smoking Types Thirdhand – tobacco residue on surfaces and in dust Irritation of eye, nose and throat Headaches Effects Lung cancer and possibly heart disease Children: lung and ear effects
Radon From breakdown of uranium in rocks, soil Radon and water No immediate symptoms Effects Increased risk of lung cancer Prevent Do-it-yourself test kit Exposure Radon contractors can help
Molds And Biological Contaminants Bacteria, mildew, viruses, animal dander, Types cat saliva, dust mites, cockroaches, pollen, mold Wet walls, ceilings, carpet, furniture Mold Faulty ventilation systems Sources Poorly maintained humidifiers Irritation of eye, nose and throat Effects Dizziness, lethargy, fever Digestive problems
Reduce Exposure To Molds • Vent fans to outdoors in kitchen and bath Clean humidifiers and refill with clean water • daily Empty water trays in air conditioners, • dehumidifiers and refrigerators • Keep living space clean
Household Products Pollute Your Home Sources of pollution Paint and paint strippers Wood preservatives Cleaners and disinfectants Air fresheners and aerosol sprays Stored fuels and automotive products Hobby supplies Dry-cleaned clothing
Health Effects Of Household Products Effects Eye, nose, throat irritation Headaches Loss of coordination Nausea Damage to liver, kidney, central nervous system Lower estrogen Cancer
Reduce Harmful Household Products Steps to reduce exposure Follow instructions carefully Use one product at a time Throw away old chemicals Buy smaller quantities Minimize methylene chloride (paint strippers, adhesive removers, and spray paints)
Formaldehyde Sources of formaldehyde Pressed wood products Furniture made with pressed wood Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation Combustion sources Environmental tobacco smoke Durable press drapes and other textiles Glue
Health Effects Of Formaldehyde Effects of formaldehyde Watery eyes Burning sensation in eyes and throat Nausea Difficulty breathing Possibly cancer
Reduce Exposure to Formaldehyde Steps toward reducing exposure Use exterior grade pressed wood Air conditioning and humidifiers to maintain moderate temperatures Increase ventilation Always ask about formaldehyde before buying wood
Pesticides Products used to kill pests, or treat lawn Sources and garden Headaches, dizziness, nausea Health Muscle twitching Effects Weakness and tingling sensations No immediate symptoms Effects Increased risk of lung cancer
Reduce Exposure To Pesticides Take these steps to reduce risk Follow instructions on package Use approved products in specified amounts Take plants and pets outside to apply product Dispose according to package directions Use nonchemical methods when possible Ventilate Minimize exposure to moth repellants
Asbestos Deteriorating, damaged or disturbed Sources insulation, fireproofing, acoustical material and floor tiles Too small to be immediately visible Health Lung cancer Effects Asbestosis Mesothelioma Use contractors for jobs that may disturb asbestos Effects Follow procedures for replacing gaskets that may contain asbestos
Lead Lead-based paint Sources Contaminated soil, dust and water All body systems affected Convulsions, coma, and even death Effects Central Nervous System effects Kidney and blood cell effects Pregnant women – high blood pressure
Reduce Lead Exposure Take these steps to reduce risk Keep areas where children play as dust-free as possible Leave lead-based paint undisturbed Keep lead dust and paint out of your home Eat a balanced diet
Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Oxide Gas and Kerosene heaters/stoves Sources Automobile engines Coal burning Fatigue at low concentrations At higher concentrations: Effects impaired vision and coordination headaches, dizziness, confusion death
Reduce CO and NO Exposure Take these steps to reduce risk Keep appliances properly adjusted Open flues when fireplaces are in use Do not idle car inside the garage Support sustainable energy sources
Chemical Risks • Various chemicals, including benzene, asbestos, and arsenic, have been shown to cause cancer in humans. • Endocrine Disruptors: are chemicals that act as or interfere with human hormones. • Exposure to toxic chemicals causes about 3 percent of developmental defects. • Many are chemicals found household products that are shown to be 2 to 5 times more concentrated inside the home than outside
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Risk Electromagnetic fields are produced by a conductor and extensively present inside and outside homes Experts disagree about the effects of EMF: Risk of cancer and other human disease from EMF around power lines is ‘weak’ EMF exposure ‘cannot be recognized as entirely safe’ Researchers have also documented increased cancer rates, miscarriage and more
Other Sources Of Concern Microwaves No evidence of health risk Cell Phones No definite answer regarding risk Danger is in amount, frequency and duration of exposure Ionizing Radiation Constant in environment Typical exposure is not health risk Diagnostic Doctor’s should reduce the number of X-rays x-rays patients are exposed to
Hearing Is Affected By Sound And Medication Measured in decibels (dB) Loudness If someone can hear music from your headphones 2-3 feet away, it’s too loud Prolonged exposure over 85 dB Power mower or food blender Harmful Sounds Short, loud sharp sounds Rock concerts 110-140 dB Medication Over-the-counter pain killers (aspirin)
Signs Of Hearing Loss Difficulty understanding speech Noticeable Tinnitus Long exposure to low level Unnoticeable damaging sounds may cause gradual loss
Should You Have Your Hearing Checked?• Do you frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves?• Do you have difficulty hearing when someone speaks in a whisper?• Do people complain that you turn up the volume too much when watching television or listening to music?• Do you have difficulty following conversation in a noisy environment?• Do you avoid groups of people because of hearing difficulty?• Have your friends or family suggested you might have hearing loss?
Taking Care of Mother Earth • Plant a tree. • Precycle. • Limit your driving. • Save the juice (electricity).• Integrate a new “green” habit into your life every week. • Be water wise. • Avoid disposables. • Recycle. • Cancel junk mail. • Spare the seas.
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