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Environmental Health. Chapter 3. Lesson 3.1 Pollution and Human Health. Theme Outline. Lesson 3.1 Pollution and Human Health Water Pollution Water Pollutants and Human Health Waterborne Disease Outbreaks in Pennsylvania Air Pollution Allergies and Asthma Pennsylvania Air Quality

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Environmental Health


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    1. Environmental Health Chapter 3 Lesson 3.1 Pollution and Human Health

    2. Theme Outline • Lesson 3.1 • Pollution and Human Health • Water Pollution • Water Pollutants and Human Health • Waterborne Disease Outbreaks in Pennsylvania • Air Pollution • Allergies and Asthma • Pennsylvania Air Quality • Common Soil Pollutants • Indoor Pollution • Manufacturing Common Household Cleaning Products

    3. Academic Standards for Environment & Ecology • Standard 4.3.10.A • Describe environmental health issues. • Identify the effects on human health of air, water and soil pollution and the possible economic costs to society. • Describe how indoor pollution may affect human health (e.g., dust mites, fumes, cat dandruff). • Explain the costs and benefits of cleaning up contaminants. • Explain how common household cleaning products are manufactured and how to dispose of their by-products after use.

    4. Learning Objectives • Students will identify the effects on human health of air, water, and soil pollution and some of the economic costs to society. • Students will explain how human practices affect the quality of the water and soil. • Students will describe how indoor pollutants might affect human health, how common household cleaning products are manufactured, and how to dispose of those products after use. • Students will explain the costs and benefits of cleaning up contaminants. • Students will identify some environmental regulations and their impacts on environmental health.

    5. Love Canal

    6. Pollution and Human Health The human population depends on the Earth at several different levels • Hydrosphere Example: water • Atmosphere Example: air • Lithosphere Example: soil • Biosphere Example: living world

    7. Categories of Pollutants

    8. Pollution • Pollution can be classified according to the medium which is contaminated or where the contamination occurs • Water pollution • Air pollution • Soil pollution Also commonly referred to as land pollution • Indoor Pollution

    9. Water Pollution • In developed nations… • Potable drinking water is readily accessible • Water used in households is treated to remove dangerous pollutants • Pollutants enter water supplies several ways • Example: pollution from precipitation • Example: pollution from irrigation runoff

    10. Water Pollution • Common waterway pollutants • Sediments • Nutrients • These substances wash into waterways from farmlands, animal feeding facilities, construction sites, and other areas where the ground is disturbed

    11. Effluent • Definition: wastewater from factories and refineries that is released directly into urban water supplies

    12. Why is effluent a concern in waterways? • May contain harmful by-products of manufacturing processes Example: washing of solvents in drainage systems • May be in the form of heated wastewater from industry Example: raising the temperature of aquatic systems

    13. Sewage • Definition: polluted water that contains human waste, garbage, and other household wastewater

    14. In developed countries, sewage is treated with a system of screens, filters, and chemicals to remove particulate matter, organic matter, and other contaminants. • Sewage processing in the United States • 80% of sewage goes through treatment processes • 10% of sewage goes through septic systems • 10% of sewage is untreated

    15. Wastewater Treatment Facilities

    16. A by-product of the sewage treatment process is sediment, called sludge • Historically, sludge was dumped into water bodies or taken to landfills. • Now, sludge is dried and then used for compost material or as fertilizers in agricultural settings

    17. Water Pollutants and Human Health • Most water pollutants can be dangerous to human health Example: lead in water supplies from pipes and pipe solder may cause brain damage, especially in children • Untreated or inadequately treated sewage discharges can also be harmful to human health Example: microbes Definition: very tiny pathogens, or organisms such as protests, bacteria, or viruses, that cause disease

    18. Some Common Water Pollutants • Common water-related illnesses • Cholera • Intestinal infection • Caused by water contaminated with the bacteriumVibro cholerae • Spread by drinking and eating contaminated water and food products • Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration • World Health Organization (WHO) considers cholera a pandemic, mostly contained to developing nations

    19. Pandemic • Definition: outbreak of a disease that affects an exceptionally high portion of a population and occurs over a very large geographic area

    20. Some Common Water Pollutants • Common water-related illnesses • Dysentery • Caused by several types of bacteria • Spread by person-to-person contact and by consuming contaminated water and food products • Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and less seldom seizures and kidney failure • Antibiotics offer effective treatment until antibiotic resistance develops • World Health Organization (WHO) considers dysentery an epidemic in many developing nations Epidemic - temporary prevalence of a disease

    21. Some Common Water Pollutants • Common water-related illnesses • Malaria • Caused by parasitic disease • Spread by contact with infected female mosquitoes • Symptoms include flu-like symptoms, headache, fever, and vomiting. • World Health Organization (WHO) considers malaria a potentially life-threatening disease in many developing nations. Kills > 1 million people annually.

    22. Some Common Water Pollutants • Common water-related illnesses • Cryptosporidiosis • Caused by cryptosporidiosis cysts that enter the human body and “hatch” • Often present in surface water supplies • Spread by contact with untreated or inadequately treated wastewater • Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, weight loss, and dehydration

    23. Some Common Water Pollutants • Common water-related illnesses • Giardiasis • Caused by cysts that enter the human body and “hatch” • Often present in surface water supplies contaminated by feces • Spread by contact with untreated or inadequately treated wastewater • Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, weight loss, and dehydration • Unlike cryptosporidiosis, medication can eliminate giardia parasites in human hosts

    24. Waterborne Disease Outbreaks in Pennsylvania • Between 1971 and 1985, Pennsylvania reported more cases of waterborne disease than any other state • Pennsylvania created the Safe Drinking Water Program under the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to oversee the state’s public water supplies • Mission: evaluate and monitor the state’s water treatment plants • Since 1990, a sharp reduction in waterborne diseases statewide has been recorded

    25. Pollution • Pollution can be classified according to the medium which is contaminated or where the contamination occurs • Water pollution • Air pollution • Soil pollution Also commonly referred to as land pollution • Indoor Pollution

    26. Air Pollution • Causes of air pollution • Natural Example: forest fires • Human Activities Example: combustion of fossil fuels as energy • Major sources of air pollution remain industrial processes and motor vehicles

    27. 1948: Donora, PA http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/DonoraSmog.html

    28. Common air pollutants • Ozone (O3) • Found in Earth’s upper and lower atmosphere • Upper atmosphere • Protects Earth from harmful solar radiation • Lower atmosphere • Pollutant that can cause (chronic) respiratory tract infections, eye irritation, coughing, shortness of breath, nausea, wheezing, and headaches

    29. Common air pollutants • Carbon Monoxide (CO) • Colorless, odorless gas • Formed from the incomplete combustion of fuels • Commonly found in automobile and industrial emissions • Exposure to carbon monoxide includes symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms at low levels • Exposure to carbon monoxide includes symptoms such as impaired vision and hearing, problems with fine motor skills, and lack of concentration at moderate to high levels

    30. Common air pollutants • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) • Formed from the burning of coal containing pyrite, that combines with oxygen in the atmosphere • Exposure to moisture in the atmosphere produces sulfuric acid (acid rain) • Exposure to sulfur dioxide includes symptoms such as respiratory illnesses, decreased lung functions, and aggravation of existing heart disease

    31. Common air pollutants • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) • Formed from the burning of fuels • Common component of smog (smoke and fog) • Commonly found in industrial areas and areas with a high concentration of motor vehicles • Exposure to nitrogen dioxide includes symptoms such as eye irritation, stuffy nose, coughing, sore throat, lung inflammation, and various illnesses of the human respiratory system

    32. Common air pollutants • Particulate Matter • Solid particles present in air • Common particulate matter includes soil, construction dust, bites of tire rubber, asbestos from brake linings, and vehicle exhaust • Exposure to particulate matter includes symptoms such as irritation and illness of human respiratory system and certain kinds of cancer

    33. Common air pollutants • Toxic Substances • Nearly 200 known toxic substances are known to be air pollutants Example: lead is a highly toxic metal when ingested or inhaled Example: mercury containing plant emissions are now closely monitored and regulated to reduce overall emissions What are toxic air pollutants? Toxic air pollutants, also known as hazardous air pollutants, are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects. EPA is working with state, local, and tribal governments to reduce air toxics releases of 188 pollutants to the environment. Examples of toxic air pollutants include benzene, which is found in gasoline; perchlorethlyene, which is emitted from some dry cleaning facilities; and methylene chloride, which is used as a solvent and paint stripper by a number of industries. Examples of other listed air toxics include dioxin, asbestos, toluene, and metals such as cadmium, mercury, chromium, and lead compounds.

    34. Allergy • Definition: reaction to the body to a foreign substance that, in similar amounts and circumstances, is harmless to most other people • Produced by allergens which cause the allergic reaction Common allergens include bacteria, pollen, cigarette smoke, animal dander, and dust • Commonly controlled with medication and the avoidance of the irritating substance or activity

    35. Asthma • Definition: disorder of the lungs in which airways tend to constrict, resulting in episodes of breathlessness, wheezing, coughing, and tightness of the chest • Triggered by dust mites, animal dander, pollen, exercise and various air pollutants • Develops in young children as a result of inherited susceptibility to allergens • Adults develop asthma in response to allergens, viruses, certain medications, exposure to certain materials in the workplace, and exercise • Commonly controlled with medication and the avoidance of the irritating substance or activity

    36. Pennsylvania Air Quality • Vehicle traffic on Pennsylvania roadways has increased • Increased vehicle traffic means higher levels of potentially harmful air pollutants • Regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Air Quality

    37. DEP: Bureau of Air Quality • Works with industry, businesses, schools, and communities to reduce air pollutant emissions • Issues permits, regulates emissions, and approves air quality plans • Enforces air quality by monitoring overall air quality

    38. Pennsylvania Air Quality Programs • Clean Mower Rebate Program • Goal: replace gasoline-powered lawn equipment with electric equipment • Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program • Goal: provide financial assistance and information on alternative fuels and vehicles • Small Business Assistance Program • Goal: provide small businesses with information on pollution prevention practices • Drive Clean Pennsylvania • Goal: ensure registered motor vehicles are properly inspected and maintained http://www.epa.gov/air/recipes/mowers.html http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/alternative_fuels_incentive_grant-move_to_grants/10492 http://www.drivecleanpa.state.pa.us/default.htm

    39. Pollution • Pollution can be classified according to the medium which is contaminated or where the contamination occurs • Water pollution • Air pollution • Soil pollution Also commonly referred to as land pollution • Indoor Pollution

    40. Common Soil Pollutants • Pollution that contaminants all, or at least portions of land and underlying soils • Common soil pollution sources • Agriculture Example: sediments, pesticides, herbicides, animal wastes, and fertilizers resulting from poor irrigation systems and the improper disposal of wastes • Industrial Processes Example: release of toxic substances from industry, poor mining practices, oil and gas well leaks, and underground storage tanks (Ex. Love Canal, NY et. al.)

    41. Love Canal, New York

    42. Soil Pollutants : Nuclear Wastes • Radioactive waste is generated by industry and research facilities Example: hospitals • Two types of waste • High- level waste (HLW) • Low- level waste (LLW)

    43. Nuclear Wastes:High-level wastes (HLW) • Highly radioactive • Remains radioactive for long periods of time • Found in nuclear reactor waste products and industrial gauges • Disposal and storage is the responsibility of the federalgovernment in the United States A typical High Level Waste (HLW) or Spent Fuel (SF) disposal concept includes steel canisters (1) containing waste (2) placed in horizontal drifts (3), surrounded by a clay barrier made up of blocks (4) manufactured from high-density compacted bentonite and situated deep within crystalline rock.

    44. Yucca Mountain • Ideal to build an underground repository where wastes can be stored several hundred meters deep in solid rock • This site is far from urban areas and is geologically stable • If approved, could cost between 30-50 billion dollars • Possibly operational by 2010 http://worldnewsvine.com/2010/08/gop-congressional-control-would-open-door-for-yucca-mountain-nuclear-disaster/

    45. Not in My Back Yucca It seems like the good citizens of Nevada would sooner elect an orangutan as governor than let the federal government fill Yucca Mountain with radioactive waste. Can't blame them, I guess, but that spent nuclear fuel has to go somewhere. What, then, are the alternatives to stashing it beneath Yucca Mountain? 

    46. Nuclear Wastes:Low-level wastes (LLW) • Low to moderately radioactive • Emit radioactive particles under decay is complete • Found contaminated clothing, filters, and paper, some glass item used for medicine, manufacturing, and research, resins, radiation gauges, and smoke detectors • A low-level waste facility has been proposed for Pennsylvania to isolate and store waste material

    47. Indoor Pollution