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Encyclopedia > Environmental health

Environmental health is the branch of public health that is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health. Other terms that refer to the discipline of environmental health include environmental public health and environmental health and protection. Public health is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. ...


Environmental health practitioners may be known as sanitarians, public health inspectors, environmental health specialists or environmental health officers. This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Environmental health officers (EHOs) are usually employed by local government or state health authorities to advise on and enforce public health standards. ...

Contents

Nutrition and Health

There are six main nutrients that the body needs to receive: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. It is important to consume these six nutrients on a daily basis to build and maintain healthy body systems. Link title {{portal|Food} A nutrient is either a chemical element or compound used in an organisms metabolism or physiology. ...


Ill health can be caused by an imbalance of nutrients, producing either an excess or deficiency, which in turn affects body functioning cumulatively. Moreover, because most nutrients are, in some way or another, involved in cell-to-cell signalling (e.g. as building block or part of a hormone or signalling 'cascades'), deficiency or excess of various nutrients affects hormonal function indirectly. Thus, because they largely regulate the expression of genes, hormones represent a link between nutrition and how our genes are expressed, i.e. our phenotype. The strength and nature of this link are continually under investigation, but observations especially in recent years have demonstrated a pivotal role for nutrition in hormonal activity and function and therefore in health. Individuals in the mollusk species Donax variabilis show diverse coloration and patterning in their phenotypes. ...


Soil contamination is the presence of man made chemicals or other alteration to the natural soil environment. This type of contamination typically arises from rupture of underground storage tanks, application of pesticides, percolation of contaminated surface water to subsurface strata, leaching of wastes from landfills or direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil. The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, lead and other heavy metals. This occurrence of this phenomenon is correlated with the degree of industrialization and intensity of chemical usage. Excavation of leaking underground storage tank causing soil contamination Soil contamination is the presence of man-made chemicals or other alteration of the natural soil environment. ... An Underground Storage Tank (UST), in United States environmental law, is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10 percent of its combined volume underground. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ... Landfill can also refer to Land reclamation. ... In chemistry, a hydrocarbon is a cleaning solution consisting only of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). ... A substance is soluble in a fluid if it dissolves in the fluid. ...


The concern over soil contamination stems primarily from health risks, both of direct contact and from secondary contamination of water supplies[1].


Health effects

The major concern is that there are many sensitive land uses where people are in direct contact with soils such as residences, parks, schools and playgrounds. Other contact mechanisms include contamination of drinking water or inhalation of soil contaminants which have vaporized. There is a very large set of health consequences from exposure to soil contamination depending on pollutant type, pathway of attack and vulnerability of the exposed population. Chromium and many of the pesticide and herbicide formulations are carcinogenic to all populations. Lead is especially hazardous to young children, in which group there is a high risk of developmental damage to the brain and nervous system, while to all populations kidney damage is a risk. General Name, Symbol, Number chromium, Cr, 24 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 6, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Standard atomic weight 51. ... The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals in the Globally Harmonized System. ... For Pb as an abbreviation, see PB. General Name, Symbol, Number lead, Pb, 82 Chemical series Post-transition metals or poor metals Group, Period, Block 14, 6, p Appearance bluish gray Standard atomic weight 207. ... The Human Nervous System A human being coordinates its nervous system, the activity of the muscles, monitors the organs, constructs and also stops input from the senses, and initiates actions. ... The kidneys are organs that filter wastes (such as urea) from the blood and excrete them, along with water, as urine. ...


Chronic exposure to benzene at sufficient concentrations is known to be associated with higher incidence of leukemia. Mercury and cyclodienes are known to induce higher incidences of kidney damage, some irreversible. PCBs and cyclodienes are linked to liver toxicity. Organophosphates and carbamates can induce a chain of responses leading to neuromuscular blockage. Many chlorinated solvents induce liver changes, kidney changes and depression of the central nervous system. There is an entire spectrum of further health effects such as headache, nausea, fatigue, eye irritation and skin rash for the above cited and other chemicals. At sufficient dosages a large number of soil contaminants cause death. Benzene is an organic chemical compound with the formula C6H6. ... Leukemia or leukaemia (see spelling differences) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 200. ... Cyclodiene is a sub-category of organochlorine insecticides. ... PCB may refer to: Brazilian Communist Party (in Portuguese, Partido Comunista Brasileiro) Communist Party of Bolivia (in Spanish, Partido Comunista de Bolivia) Pakistan Cricket Board PCB Piezotronics PCBoard, a bulletin board system software Police Complaints Board, which oversaw the system for handling complaints made against police forces in England and... Cyclodiene is a sub-category of organochlorine insecticides. ... An organophosphate (sometimes abbreviated OP) is the general name for esters of phosphoric acid and is one of the organophosphorus compounds. ... Carbamates are a group of organic compounds sharing a common functional group with the general structure -NH(CO)O-. More precisely the carbamate group is considered an amide group with an alkoxy or hydroxy functional group next to the carbonyl group. ... A solvent is a liquid that dissolves a solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution. ... A headache (cephalalgia in medical terminology) is a condition of pain in the head; sometimes neck or upper back pain may also be interpreted as a headache. ... For other uses, see Nausea (disambiguation). ... The word fatigue is used in everyday living to describe a range of afflictions, varying from a general state of lethargy to a specific work induced burning sensation within muscle. ... In pharmacology an effective dose is the amount of drug that produces a therapeutic response in 50% of the people taking it. ...


Drinking water is water that is intended to be ingested by humans. Water of drinkable qaulity is termed potable water, whether it is used as such or not. Although many fresh water sources are utilised by humans, some contain disease or pathogens and cause long-term health problems if they do not meet specific water quality guidelines. Water that is not harmful for human beings is sometimes called safe water, water which is not contaminated to the extent of being unhealthful. The available supply of drinking water is an important criterion of carrying capacity, the population level that can be supported by planet Earth. Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... For the village on the Isle of Wight, see Freshwater, Isle of Wight. ... The term disease refers to an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs function. ... A pathogen or infectious agent is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. ... Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, characterized through the methods of hydrometry. ... Safe water is water that will not harm you if you come in contact with it. ... Carrying capacity usually refers to the biological carrying capacity of a population level that can be supported for an organism, given the quantity of food, habitat, water and other life infrastructure present. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ...


As of the year 2006 (and pre-existing for at least three decades), there is a substantial shortfall in availability of potable water, primarily arising from overpopulation in lesser developed countries. Many nations have water quality regulations for water sold as drinking water, although these are often not strictly enforced outside of the developed world. The World Health Organization sets international standards for drinking water. Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... A developing country is a country with low average income compared to the world average. ... The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. ...


Environmental health services

Environmental health services are defined by the World Health Organization as:

those services which implement environmental health policies through monitoring and control activities. They also carry out that role by promoting the improvement of environmental parameters and by encouraging the use of environmentally friendly and healthy technologies and behaviours. They also have a leading role in developing and suggesting new policy areas.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS), is a serious and deadly environmental health issue facing workers across the world. On June 27, 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General released an in-depth report which analyzed the body of science relating to the disease and death caused by secondhand smoke.


Sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) is a condition whereby untreated sewage is discharged into the environment, escaping wastewater treatment. This situation, also known as Wet Weather Overflow, is primarily meaningful in developed countries, which have extensive sewage treatment facilities. The main causes of SSO are: Sewage treatment is the process that removes the majority of the contaminants from waste-water or sewage and produces both a liquid effluent suitable for disposal to the natural environment and a sludge. ... A developed country is a country that has achieved (currently or historically) a high degree of industrialization, and which enjoys the higher standards of living which wealth and technology make possible. ...

Since a number of countries have essentially 100 percent treatment of domestic wastewater, an SSO episode is viewed as a significant breakdown in environmental control of water resources; for example, the USA, Japan, the United Kingdom and some other European countries strive for complete secondary treatment of all effluent and pursue vigorously shortcomings in the sewerage systems. See: espionage, urban exploration, entryism, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. ... Stormwater is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation events. ... In meteorology, precipitation is any kind of water that falls from the sky as part of the weather. ... The word sewerage means the provision of pipes etc to collect and dispose of sewage. ... Pumping station Van Sasse in Grave, the Netherlands Pumping station Van Sasse in Grave, the Netherlands Pumping stations are facilities including pumps and equipment for pumping fluids from one place to another. ... A power outage is the loss of the electricity supply to an area. ... The word error has different meanings in different domains. ... Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful to humans. ... In the context of creating Plutonium at the Hanford Site, effluent refers to the cooling water that is discharged from a nuclear reactor that may or may not be radioactive. ...


By far the most prevalent cause of Sanitary Sewer Overflow stems from heavy rainfall events which can cause massive infiltration of stormwater into sewerage lines. This circumstance is most prevalent in older cities whose subsurface infrastructure is quite old; Inflow into the sanitary lines can be caused by tree root rupture of subsurface lines or by mechanical fracture due to age and overpressure from trucks and buildings above. Stormwater is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation events. ...


Other modes of system failure can include power outage which may disable lift station pumps or parts of the treatment plant operations themselves; in fact, any mechanical system failure within a treatment plant can create a circumstance leading to overflow: breakdown of rotating arms of trickling filters, jamming of line gates, clogging of filters or grates etc. Furthermore, some forms of human error can infrequently lead to diversion of sewage and result in an overflow event. Power Outage is an episode of The WB drama series, Charmed. ... Systematic faults are often a result of an error in the specification of the equipment and therefore affect all examples of that type. ... The trickling filter is known by several other names, among them percolating filter and biological filter Biological filter is also used, especially in the USA, to mean a biological odour The trickling filter is one of the oldest forms of sewage treatment, and is effectively a process-intensified form of... This page may meet Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ...


Decentralized failures in dry weather mainly occur from collection sewer line blockages, which can arise from a debris clog, line rupture or tree root intrusion into the line itself. One of the main problems of a decentralized line failure is the difficulty of defining the location of overflow, since a typical urban system contains thousands of miles of collection pipage, and the central treatment plant has no way of communicating with all the lines, unless expensive monitoring equipment has been installed. Debris (French, pronounced (IPA) dibri) is a word used to describe the remains of something that has been otherwise destroyed. ...


Human health and ecological consequences

Human health impacts include significant numbers of gastrointestinal illness each year, although death from one overflow event is uncommon. Additional human impacts include beach closures, swimming restrictions and prohibition against consumption of certain aquatic animals (particularly certain molluscs) after overflow events. Ecological consequences include fish kills, harm to plankton and other aquatic microflora and microfauna. Turbidity increase and dissolved oxygen decrease in receiving waters can lead to accentuated effects beyond the obvious pathogenic induced damage to aquatic ecosystems. It is possible that higher life forms such as marine mammals can be affected since certain seals and sea lions are known to experience peaks in pathogenic harm For the Physics term GUT, please refer to Grand unification theory The gastrointestinal or digestive tract, also referred to as the GI tract or the alimentary canal or the gut, is the system of organs within multicellular animals which takes in food, digests it to extract energy and nutrients, and... Ninety Mile Beach Australia. ... This article concentrates on human swimming. ... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora - Chitons Monoplacophora Bivalvia - Bivalves Scaphopoda - Tusk shells Gastropoda - Snails and Slugs Cephalopoda - Squids, Octopuses, etc. ... The term fish kill is applied to a localized die-off of sea life. ... Photomontage of plankton organisms Plankton are any drifting organism that inhabits the water column of oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. ... A pathogen or infectious agent is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to its host. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ...


Further reading

  • International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, ISSN: 1438-4639, Elsevier

See also

Ecological health or ecological integrity or ecological damage is used to refer to symptoms of an ecosystems pending loss of carrying capacity, ability to perform natures services, or pending ecocide due to cumulative causes such as pollution. ... Public health is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. ...

References

External links

  • World Health Organization environmental health webpage
  • International Federation of Environmental Health website
  • The Public Health Portal of the European Union Information on EU activities in environmental health
  • CDC National Center for Environmental Health (US) website
  • National Environmental Health Association (US) website
  • Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) website
  • Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland website
  • Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors website
  • New Zealand Institute of Environmental Health website
  • Association of Public Health Officers Kenya website
  • Children's Environmental Health Network (US) website
  • California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health website
  • California Environmental Health Association website
  • NLM Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program
  • NLM Metasearch Engine for Toxicology and Environmental Health

  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia4U - Environmental health - Encyclopedia Article (217 words)
Environmental health is a branch of medicine concerned with the human health effects of change to the natural environment (air, water, soil, foods grown in same).
All of these cause a certain degree of morbidity (premature death due to this exposure) which is often quite hard to distinguish from other causes.
Nutrition, disease prevention and public health are related concerns.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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