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Chapter 7


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Chapter 7

  1. 1. Chapter 7: Environmental andOccupational HealthMaggie BakerFall 2011
  2. 2. Environment and our Health
  3. 3. Environmental Factors affecting all Industrial pollution “Lifestyle choices” Chemicals and toxins banned in the United States but still used in developing countries Hazards resulting from mining, toxic-waste dumps and radioactive waste sites
  4. 4. Limitations on “Lifestyle Choices”Large corporations and divisions of the government oftenaddress environmental issues by noting the responsibilityof the individual to make the right living choices.However, frequently these “choices” are not available to usbecause of:  Economic status  Family/Work Obligations  Lack of information  Availability of alternative solutions  Negligence by government agencies  Lack of community awareness/support
  5. 5. Can you avoid them all,all of the time?
  6. 6. Occupational Health Issues forWomen Low paying/stressful jobs No access to worker’s compensation, occupational rehabilitation, disability compensation Ill-fitting safety equipment not made for women’s bodies/sizes Jobs where it is necessary to stand, sit or do monotonous tasks for hours at a time Lack of health insurance or time off to seek medical care
  7. 7. What’s keeping us from activism? Responsibilities at home after work hours when activist activities are planned and executed Low seniority/feeling like we have to support our bosses Lack of organization/union membership Language barriers Citizenship issues Dependence on job, especially at lowest paying/less skilled jobs
  8. 8. Effects from Environmental andOccupational conditions Skin diseases  Hearing loss Respiratory ailments  Back pain Multiple chemical sensitivities  Neck, shoulder and hand strain or (MCS) injuries Infectious diseases  Foot and leg pain Reproductive health  Effects from air quality hazards/disorders  Stress Breast milk contamination  Effects from shift work Endocrine disruption  Harassment and violence Breast cancer
  9. 9. Reduce exposure, feel better!  Read food labels  Wash hands (everyone!) before touching, preparing or eating food  Install carbon monoxide monitors in your home- never leave the car running in the garage  Have your home checked for dangerous levels of lead and radon  Have your drinking water checked and filter tap water  Use natural cleaning products  If working with chemicals, change into clean clothes before returning home/picking up children
  10. 10. Safe work environments start with you Find support, organize and mobilize Promote safer materials Wear safety equipment Request furniture to fit your body Rearrange your desk and office to avoid repetitive movements GET UP! move around, take breaks, stretch (there are great guided chair yoga and meditation videos on youtube for free!) Wear well-fitting ear plugs or headphones in loud environments Do not tolerate harassment and violence- get help! (,, are some sites for further information and to find help)
  11. 11. Quotes:(Myth or Reality?)“Women are more biologically vulnerable to environmental toxinsthan men.Reality.”"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizenscan change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."- Margaret Mead
  12. 12. Discussion Question:What have you personally done or can do to make yourliving environment more healthy for you and yourfamily?What small changes can you make at work to make ahealthier occupational environment?