Chapter 3 Notes-Environmental Health


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Chapter 3 Notes-Environmental Health

  1. 1. Chapter 3 Environmental Health
  2. 2. Common Soil Pollutants Things we have already talked about: Agriculture <ul><li>Sediment </li></ul><ul><li>Pesticides </li></ul><ul><li>Animal wastes </li></ul><ul><li>Fertilizers </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation ditches which collect pollutants and salts </li></ul>
  3. 3. Common Soil Pollutants Landfills <ul><li>Solid wastes buried in landfills; harmful substances leak into the soil </li></ul>Industrial Processes <ul><li>Toxic substances released as wastes like lead and mercury </li></ul>Mining practices <ul><li>Acid mine drainage </li></ul>
  4. 4. Common Soil Pollutants Oil and gas wells; underground petroleum tanks <ul><li>If not sealed properly oil and gas can leak into and contaminate the soil </li></ul>
  5. 5. Common Soil Pollutants Radioactive Wastes <ul><li>Nuclear Power Plants </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>Industries </li></ul><ul><li>Research facilities </li></ul>LLW: low level wastes HLW: high level wastes
  6. 6. Common Soil Pollutants HLW: High Level Wastes Wastes that are highly radioactive and pose health risks for thousands of years <ul><li>Mostly Nuclear Fuel from power plants </li></ul><ul><li>Nuclear reactor components </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial radiation gauges </li></ul>Disposal and storage of HLW is the responsibility of the US Government
  7. 7. Common Soil Pollutants LLW: Low Level Wastes Wastes that small amounts of materials that are radioactive and that decay to safe levels in about 100 years <ul><li>Trash or other materials that have been contaminated by radioactive materials </li></ul>Disposal and storage of LLW is the responsibility of individual states
  8. 8. Common Soil Pollutants LLW: Low Level Wastes In PA, this includes: <ul><li>Clothing </li></ul><ul><li>Filters </li></ul><ul><li>Paper and glass </li></ul><ul><li>Certain kinds of resins </li></ul><ul><li>Radiation gauges </li></ul><ul><li>Nuclear reactor ash </li></ul><ul><li>Nuclear reactor solid waste </li></ul>
  9. 9. Indoor Pollution HHW: Household hazardous waste <ul><li>Remodeling materials </li></ul><ul><li>Paints </li></ul><ul><li>Cleaning products </li></ul><ul><li>Oils </li></ul><ul><li>Pesticides </li></ul><ul><li>Yard equipment gas/oil </li></ul><ul><li>Glues/Adhesives </li></ul>
  10. 10. Indoor Pollution HHW: Household hazardous waste Ways to reduce the risks: <ul><li>Read and follow directions </li></ul><ul><li>Use minimum amounts necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Give leftovers to someone else to use </li></ul><ul><li>Dispose of leftovers according to label </li></ul>
  11. 11. Indoor Pollution HHW: Household hazardous waste Many communities have programs http:// =CDCACEC7C683CDC9CA
  12. 12. Indoor Pollution HHW: Household hazardous waste Manufacturing Household Cleaning Products Ammonia: combines nitrogen and hydrogen gases; nitrogen escapes and pollutes air (nitrogen dioxide) Chlorine bleach: Chlorine gas is poisonous and irritates upper respiratory systems and lungs Laundry detergents: petroleum by products; methyl alcohol; sulfuric acid; strong bases can get out and pollute the environment
  13. 13. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Ecology: the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environments Ecologists: Collect and analyze quantitative data about populations (counts and measurements) Ecologists: Gather qualitative data (descriptive) about relationships between species in an ecosystem
  14. 14. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Three basic principles of ecology: 1 ) EVERYTHING IS RELATED TO EVERYTHING ELSE The simplest disturbance in any natural process sets off a chain reaction
  15. 15. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Three basic principles of ecology: 2) EVERYTHING MUST GO SOMEWHERE Nothing can really be “thrown” away. It all ends up somewhere and has some effect on the environment
  16. 16. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Three basic principles of ecology: 3) NATURE KNOWS BEST The Earth and all of it’s life-forms have been here for billions of years. Humans share and we make changes that could cause long term effects
  17. 17. Humans must live in harmony with the Earth… if we use a resource, it must be returned at some point… either by natural processes or by human activities
  18. 18. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Nonpoint Source Pollutants Pollutants that are carried far from their sources by rain and melting snow <ul><li>Fertilizers and pesticides </li></ul><ul><li>Oil, grease </li></ul><ul><li>Toxic chemicals </li></ul><ul><li>Sediment </li></ul><ul><li>Bacteria and nutrients </li></ul><ul><li>Many others </li></ul>
  19. 19. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Nonpoint Source Pollutants Where do they come from? <ul><li>Farms </li></ul><ul><li>Residential areas </li></ul><ul><li>Factories </li></ul><ul><li>Construction sites </li></ul><ul><li>Forests </li></ul><ul><li>Faulty Septic Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Mining and logging </li></ul>
  20. 20. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Nonpoint Source Pollutants <ul><li>Leading cause of water quality problems in US </li></ul><ul><li>Some responsibility for reducing at Federal Government level </li></ul><ul><li>Some responsibility for reducing at State level </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals can prevent and eliminate too! </li></ul><ul><li>Keep litter, pet wastes, leaves and debris out of gutters and drains </li></ul><ul><li>Cut back on lawn and household chemicals </li></ul><ul><li>Controlling soil erosion </li></ul>
  21. 21. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Point Source Pollutants Pollutants that are discharged or emitted from an identifiable source Where do they come from? <ul><li>Factory pipes </li></ul><ul><li>Leaking landfills </li></ul><ul><li>Food processing plants and slaughterhouses </li></ul><ul><li>Waste water treatment facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Many others </li></ul>
  22. 22. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Detecting Pollutants Technologies for when our eyes and noses can’t see it Detecting Hazardous Wastes Underground storage tanks can be monitored with seismic vibration imaging Abandoned storage sites have to be checked before they can be torn down Hazardous metals monitored from incinerators and combustion facilities
  23. 23. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Detecting Air Pollutants CEMS-Continuous Emission Monitoring System; measures gas or particulate matter in the air FTIR-Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer; measures >100 of 189 air pollutants listed in Clean air act Coming soon: Electronic “tasters”; for water pollution; Electronic “noses” for air pollution
  24. 24. Earth~One Enormous Ecosystem Natural Events and Environmental Health Already know about: Fires, Severe Weather, Natural Oil Seeps El Nino: disruption between Earth’s hydrosphere and atmosphere (water level and gas level) in the Tropical Pacific Ocean Happens about every 4 years
  25. 26. Volcanic Eruptions Natural Events and Environmental Health Volcanic eruptions send tons of gases, ash and dust into the atmosphere Pollutants travel far and affect wide circle of habitats Affects last for many years
  26. 27. Biodiversity and Environmental Health Biodiversity: the variety of living things on Earth When a habitat is in equilibrium, the number of species is in balance with the resources available When a habitat is stressed or damaged it’s organisms are no longer in equilibrium
  27. 28. Biodiversity and Environmental Health Biomonitoring The biological approach to monitoring an ecosystem’s health Organisms occur and thrive within a limited range of conditions. When these conditions change, the numbers and distribution of organisms in the affected site also change
  28. 29. Biodiversity and Environmental Health Biomonitoring Water quality monitoring In rivers and streams; bottom dwelling invertebrates are used <ul><li>Present in almost every aquatic ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively easy to identify and collect </li></ul><ul><li>Limited mobility; cannot easily avoid poor conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitive to a wide range of environmental impacts </li></ul>
  29. 30. Biodiversity and Environmental Health Biomonitoring Invertebrates used: <ul><li>Crayfish </li></ul><ul><li>Pill bugs </li></ul><ul><li>Mollusks (clams, mussels and snails) </li></ul><ul><li>Mites </li></ul><ul><li>Earthworms </li></ul><ul><li>Leeches </li></ul><ul><li>Insects (mayflies, stoneflies, damselflies, beetles, dragonflies) </li></ul>
  30. 31. Biodiversity and Environmental Health Biomonitoring <ul><li>Invertebrates caught </li></ul><ul><li>Identified and counted </li></ul><ul><li>Data compared with information gathered in same site at different time </li></ul><ul><li>Data also compared with information gathered at same time in different stream </li></ul>
  31. 32. Biodiversity and Environmental Health Humans and Species Extinction In PA.. Estimated that up to 50,000 species are becoming extinct each year Estimated that the current rate of extinction is 10,000 times that which is “normal” or “natural”
  32. 33. Humans and Species Extinction Sprawl Unplanned development that results in more and more suburbs Contributes significantly to air and water pollution Major cause of habitat loss
  33. 34. Humans and Species Extinction Pollution Pollution of the air, water, and land result in habitat degradation and loss Some pollutants affect organisms directly Pesticide DDT has affected various species of birds especially bald eagles and peregrine falcons
  34. 35. Humans and Species Extinction Logging and Mining Logging: removing timber from forests and mining coal fields have destroyed many wildlife habitats in PA Ecosystems polluted with sediment, soil and acid mine drainage
  35. 36. Humans and Species Extinction Fire Suppression Pine forests need naturally occurring forest fires Fire suppression can leave native plants vulnerable to competitors Disrupting the natural cycle can destroy the habitat