UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

Topics: Air pollution, Environmentalism, United States Environmental Protection Agency Pages: 38 (1880 words) Published: October 19, 2014
AST20211 Environment and Health

UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION OF
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Definition of Environment, Health and Disease
Environmental Problems
Food Borne Diseases

Intervention and Control

AST20211 Environment and Health

What is environment…?
• The sum total of our surroundings,

including all the living and nonliving things
with which we interact.
• Living things

• Animals, plants, forests, fungi, etc.
• Nonliving things

• Continents, oceans, clouds, soil, rocks
• Our built environment

• Buildings, human-created living centers
• Social relationships and institutions

• Humans are part of the environment and

are not separate from nature.
• Environmental health affect human heath,

and vice versa

AST20211 Environment and Health

Inner and outer Environment
• The Inner vs Outer Environment
• protective barriers between inner and outer:
• skin

• Gastrointestinal tract (GI tract)
• lungs

• which barrier makes humans most vulnerable?

Why
• problems with this categorization of

“environment”?

Source:
Environmental Health 3rd ed. 2005,
Dade W. Moeller

AST20211 Environment and Health

Inner and outer Environment
• The Personal vs Ambient Environment
• personal = individual control (hygiene, diet, sexual practices,

exercise, use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol, frequency of medicine) • ambient = outside individual control

• problems with this categorization of environment?

AST20211 Environment and Health

Cancer Caused by Environmental
Exposures

Source:

categorize each above as “personal” or “ambient”

Environmental Health 3rd
ed. 2005, Dade W.
Moeller

AST20211 Environment and Health

Defining “Environment”
• The Gaseous, Liquid and Solid Environments
• Each linked with particular routes of exposure to humans • problems?

Source:
Environmental Health 3rd ed. 2005,
Dade W. Moeller

AST20211 Environment and Health

Defining “Environment”
• The Chemical, Biological, Physical, Socioeconomic
Environments
• Chemical


contaminants, e.g. toxic wastes , pesticide, chemicals used
at home and in industrial operations, preservatives.

• Biological


disease organisms, transmitted by insects and animals or
person-to-person contact

• Physical


e.g., noise, temperature, radiation

• Socioeconomic


e.g. relationship between morbidity and mortality and
socioeconomic factors

• problems with this categorization?

AST20211 Environment and Health

Defining “Environment”
• The Urban Environment

Why is the urban environment centered out by Moeller for particular attention?
Source:
Environmental Health 3rd ed. 2005, Dade W. Moeller

AST20211 Environment and Health

Defining “Health”
WHO (1948)
• “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social

well-being and not merely the absence of disease or
infirmity.”
• physical
• mental

• social well-being

AST20211 Environment and Health

Disease Classification
Infectious vs Non-infectious
• infectious
• e.g., malaria, cholera, diarrhea
• pathogenic organisms
• major killer in the past
• historically mono-causal

• non-infectious
• e.g. cancer, heart disease, asthma
• major killer now
• multi-causal model
• typical environment and health concern these outcomes

AST20211 Environment and Health

Disease Classification
Endemic vs Epidemic
• endemic
• pathogen carried by many people

Blacklegged tick spreads lyme
disease

• typically not considered an environmental illness issue
• e.g., lyme disease in northern hemisphere; malaria in

Africa
• epidemic
• pathogen carried by many people
• sudden and severe outbreak of a disease in a

population
• e.g., SARS

AST20211 Environment and Health

Disease Classification
Acute vs Chronic
• acute
• severe short term disease
• or disease/symptoms due to short term

high dose exposure to environmental
substance
• if survive, no long-term effects...
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