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Environmental Hazards and Human Health

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Title: Environmental Hazards and Human Health


1
  • Chapter 17
  • Environmental Hazards and Human Health

2
Core Case Study Are Baby Bottles and Food Cans
Safe To Use? The BPA Controversy
  • Some synthetic chemicals act as hormone mimics
    and disrupt the human endocrine system
  • 93 of Americans older than 6 have BPA levels
    above the threshold level set by the EPA
  • Higher in children and adolescents
  • BPA (bisphenol A)
  • Estrogen mimic excess effects on males
  • In polycarbonates and other hardened plastics
  • Baby bottles, sipping cups, reusable water
    bottles, sports drinks, microwave dishes, food
    storage containers. liners of most food and soft
    drink cans

3
We Face Many Types of Hazards
  • Biological
  • Pathogen an organism that causes disease in
    other organisms
  • Chemical
  • Physical
  • Cultural
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Risk
  • Probability of suffering harm from a hazard

4
Some Diseases Can Spread from One Person to
Another
  • Infectious disease
  • Pathogen invades the body and multiplies
  • Transmissible disease
  • Contagious or communicable disease
  • Infectious disease transmitted between people
  • Flu, tuberculosis, measles
  • Nontransmissible disease
  • Not caused by living organisms
  • Heart disease, most cancers, diabetes

5
Some Diseases Can Spread from One Person to
Another
  • Infectious diseases spread through
  • Air, water, food, body fluids
  • Can cause epidemics and pandemics. Can also
    build up resistance to drugs and pesticides
  • Since 1950, death from infectious diseases have
    declined due to
  • Better health care, better sanitation,
    antibiotics, vaccines

6
Science Pathways for Infectious Diseases in
Humans
Fig. 17-3, p. 439
7
Major Causes of Death from Infectious Diseases in
the World, 2007
Fig. 17-4, p. 439
8
Case Study The Growing Global Threat from
Tuberculosis
  • One in ten will become sick with TB
  • 1.8 million deaths each year, primarily in
    less-developed countries
  • Why is tuberculosis on the rise?
  • Not enough screening and control programs
  • Genetic resistance to a majority of effective
    antibiotics
  • Person-to-person contact has increased
  • AIDS individuals are very susceptible to TB

9
Lung Tissue Destroyed by Tuberculosis
Fig. 17-5, p. 440
10
Viral Diseases and Parasites Kill Large Numbers
of People
  • 1 Killer - Influenza or flu virus
  • 2 Killer - HIV
  • 3 Killer - Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • Emergent diseases West Nile virus
  • Reduce chances of infection
  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid sick people

11
We Can Reduce the Incidence of Infectious Diseases
  • Good news
  • Vaccinations on the rise
  • Oral rehydration therapy
  • Bad news
  • More money needed for medical research in
    developing countries

12
Some Chemicals Can Cause Cancers, Mutations, and
Birth Defects
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Carcinogens
  • Chemicals, types of radiation, or certain viruses
    the cause or promote cancer
  • Mutagens
  • Chemicals or radiation that cause mutations or
    increase their frequency
  • Teratogens
  • Chemicals that cause harm or birth defects to a
    fetus or embryo

13
Case Study PCBs Are EverywhereA Legacy from the
Past
  • PCBs are
  • Class of chlorine-containing compounds
  • Very stable
  • Nonflammable
  • Break down slowly in the environment
  • Travel long distances in the air
  • Fat soluble
  • Biomagnification
  • Food chains and webs
  • Banned, but found everywhere

14
Potential Pathways on Which Toxic Chemicals Move
Through the Environment
Fig. 17-9, p. 447
15
Some Chemicals May Affect Different Systems
  • Some natural and synthetic chemicals in the
    environment can weaken and harm our
  • Immune system
  • Nervous system
  • Neurotoxins PCBs, arsenic, lead, some pesticides
  • Endocrine system

16
Many Factors Determine the Harmful Health Effects
of a Chemical
  • Toxicity dependent on
  • Dose
  • Age
  • Genetic makeup
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)
  • Solubility
  • Persistence
  • Biomagnification
  • Response
  • Acute effect immediate or rapid
  • Chronic effect permanent or long-lasting

17
Toxicity Ratings and Average Lethal Doses for
Humans
Table 17-1, p. 453
18
Are Trace Levels of Toxic Chemicals Harmful?
  • Insufficient data for most chemicals
  • We are all exposed to toxic chemicals
  • Are the dangers increasing or are the tests just
    more sensitive?

19
Some Potentially Harmful Chemicals Found in Most
Homes
Fig. 17-15, p. 455
20
Why Do We Know So Little about the Harmful
Effects of Chemicals?
  • Severe limitations estimating toxicity levels and
    risks
  • Only 2 of 100,000 chemicals have been adequately
    tested
  • 99.5 of chemicals used in the United States are
    not supervised by government

21
Global Outlook Number of Deaths per Year in the
World from Various Causes
Fig. 17-16, p. 458
22
  • Chapter 21
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste

23
Core Case Study E-wasteAn Exploding Problem
  • Electronic waste, e-waste fastest growing solid
    waste problem
  • Most ends up in landfills and incinerators
  • Composition includes
  • High-quality plastics, valuable metals, toxic and
    hazardous pollutants
  • Shipped to other countries - What happens in
    China and India?
  • International Basel Convention
  • Bans transferring hazardous wastes from developed
    countries to developing countries

24
Core Case Study E-wasteAn Exploding Problem
  • What should be done?
  • Recycle
  • E-cycle
  • Reuse
  • Prevention approach remove the toxic materials

25
We Throw Away Huge Amounts of Useful Things and
Hazardous Materials (1)
  • Solid waste
  • Industrial solid waste
  • Mines, farms, industries
  • Municipal solid waste (MSW)
  • Trash
  • Hazardous waste (toxic waste)
  • Threatens human health of the environment
  • Organic compounds
  • Toxic heavy metals
  • Radioactive waste

26
We Throw Away Huge Amounts of Useful Things and
Hazardous Materials (2)
  • 8090 of hazardous wastes produced by developed
    countries
  • U.S. is the largest producer - Leader in solid
    waste problem Leader in trash production, by
    weight, per person Recycling is helping
  • Why reduce solid wastes?
  • ¾ of the materials are an unnecessary waste of
    the earth's resources
  • Huge amounts of air pollution, greenhouse gases,
    and water pollution

27
Natural Capital Degradation Solid Wastes
Polluting a River in Indonesia
Fig. 21-3, p. 560
28
We Can Cut Solid Wastes by Reducing, Reusing, and
Recycling
  • Six strategies
  • Redesign manufacturing processes and products to
    use less material and energy
  • Develop products that are easy to repair, reuse,
    remanufacture, compost, or recycle
  • Eliminate or reduce unnecessary packaging
  • Use fee-per-bag waste collection systems
  • Establish cradle-to grave responsibility
  • Restructure urban transportation systems

29
We Can Burn or Bury Solid Waste or Produce Less
of It
  • Waste Management
  • Reduce harm, but not amounts
  • Waste Reduction
  • Use less and focus on reuse, recycle, compost
  • Integrated waste management
  • Uses a variety of strategies

30
We Can Use Integrated Management of Hazardous
Waste
  • Integrated management of hazardous wastes
  • Produce less
  • Convert to less hazardous substances
  • Rest in long-term safe storage

31
Case Study Recycling E-Waste
  • 70 goes to China
  • Hazardous working conditions
  • Includes child workers
  • Reduce toxic components in electronics
  • Dell and HP take recycle their products
  • Europe has high-tech smelters with strict
    standards

32
Case Study Hazardous Waste Regulation in the
United States (1)
  • 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
    (RCRA)
  • EPA sets standards and gives permits
  • Cradle to grave
  • Covers only 5 of hazardous wastes

33
Case Study Hazardous Waste Regulation in the
United States (2)
  • 1980 Comprehensive Environmental, Compensation,
    and Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • National Priorities List
  • 2010 1300 sites, 340 sites cleaned so far
  • Pace of cleanup has slowed
  • Superfund is broke
  • Laws encouraging the cleanup of brownfields

34
International Treaties Have Reduced Hazardous
Waste (1)
  • Basel Convention
  • 1992 in effect
  • 1995 amendment bans all transfers of hazardous
    wastes from industrialized countries to
    less-developed countries
  • 2009 Ratified by 195 countries, but not the
    United States

35
International Treaties Have Reduced Hazardous
Waste (2)
  • 2000 Delegates from 122 countries completed a
    global treaty
  • Control 12 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) -
    Dirty dozen includes DDT, PCBs, dioxins.
    Everyone on earth has POPs in blood
  • 2000 Swedish Parliament law
  • By 2020 ban all chemicals that are persistent and
    can accumulate in living tissue

36
We Can Make the Transition to Low-Waste Societies
  • 2000 Swedish Parliament law
  • By 2020 ban all chemicals that are persistent and
    can accumulate in living tissue
  • Norway, Austria, and the Netherlands
  • Committed to reduce resource waste by 75
  • East Hampton, NY, U.S.
  • Reduced solid waste by 85

37
Unit 7 test review
  • According to 2003 CDC study what of Americans
    over 6 showed trace BPA level above EPA
    thresholds?
  • What are the 5 main types of hazards?
  • Examples of biological hazards, natural hazards,
    viral diseases, transmissible and
    non-transmissible diseases.
  • Terms pandemic, epidemic, malaria, west nile
    virus, lyme disease, carcinogen, immune system,
    endocrine system, toxicity, dose,
    biomagnification, chronic effects, acute effects.

38
  • The top toxic substances in terms of human and
    environmental health.
  • of e-waste components containing materials that
    could be recycled/reused?
  • US produces how much of the worlds solid waste?
  • Approaches for dealing with solid waste (waste
    reductions, integrated waste management, etc.)
  • of solid waste buried in US landfills.
  • Most efficient beverage container on the market.
  • What can people do to save resources?
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