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104 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
A statement by an organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance.
Environmental Policy
States that preventive, anticipatory measures should be taken when an activity raises threat of harm to the environment, wildlife, or human health, even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established.
Precautionary Principle
Denotes the equal treatment of all people in society irrespective of their racial background, country of origin, and socioeconomic status.
Environmental justice
A strong, just, and wealthy society can be consistant with a clean environment, healthy ecosystems, and a beautiful planet.
environmental sustainability viewpoint
What is the polluter-pays principle?
The polluter should bear the expenses of carrying out the pollution prevention and control measures introduced by public authorities in member countries, to ensure that the environment is in an acceptable place.
What is a major category of population health hazard during human cultural evolution NOW?
What is a major epidemiological transition of environmental health?
The transition from mostly infectious conditions to the three major chronic conditions (cancer, heart disease, stroke).
What is health?
The condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit. Consensus: Integrates mortality with multiple dimensions of life quality.
What are the 5 pillars of health status?
Mortality, morbidity, life expectancy, functional status and capacity, and quality of life.
What are the 5 basic environmental requirements for health?
1. clean air
2. safe and sufficient water
3. safe and adequate food supply
4. safe and peaceful settlements
5. stable global environments
What is the definition of environment?
The circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded. All that which is external to the individual host. It can be divided into physical, biological, social, and cultural factors, any or all of which can influence health status in populations.
What is the definition of disease?
Trouble or a condition of the living animal or plant body or one of its parts that imparis the performance of a vital function; morbidity.
What are the determinants of health?
Policies and interventions, social environment, access to quality health care, physical environment, and individual (biology and behavior)
What are the "contributors" to the environment?
Chemical, biologic, physical, social-cultural, built, and natural
What are aspects of the built environment that impact health?
Physical inactivity
Heat stress
Climate change
Motor vehicle and pedestrian injuries
water quality
Mental Health
Social Capitol
Disparate impacts (justice and equality)
How does the social environment impact health (4)?
-Groups we belong to
-Neighborhoods we live in
-Organization of our workplace
-Policies we create
What's the difference between a toxin and a toxicant?
Toxin-- Man-Made
Toxicant-- Came from something living
Race and socioeconomic status are associated with:
-Increased exposures to environmental hazards
-Increased rates of asthma, high blood pressure, elevated blood lead levels, dementia, and other diseases...
What is environmental justice?
Equal protection
Equal access
Fair treatment and meaningful involvement
What are contributors to psychosocial stress in communities?
poor quality housing
inadequate access to healthy food and recreational opportunities
family turmoil and violence
What are the top environmental hazards in the EPA's comparative risk assessment study?
-Criteria air pollutants
-Hazardous/toxic air pollutants
-Other air pollutants
-Indoor air pollution other than radon
What are some achievements PH acheived in the 20th century?
-Water, food and milk sanitation
-Reduced physical crowding
-Improved nutrition
-Central heating with cleaner fuels
-Chlorination of water
-Removal of lead from gasoline
What are some of the major categories in Goal 8 of Health People 2010?
A. Outdoor air quality
B. Water quality
C. Toxics and Wastes
D. Healthy homes and communities
E. Infrastructure and Surveillance
F. Global environmental health
What is the environmental exposure paradigm?
Sources--> Transport & Fate --> Exposure --> Health Effect
What are agents?
Chemical, biological, and physical
What are vectors?
water, air, soil, and food
What are routes of entry?
inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption
What is toxicokinetics?
what the body does to the agent
What is toxicodynamics?
What the agent does to the body
What are three models of intervention?
Clinical Intervention Model
Public Health Intervention Model
Environmental Stewardship Model
What is the environmental impact on health?
-Humans are impacting their environment
-The impacted environment subsequently impacts human health
-The world is in an environmental risk transition
-As a consequence, we are in an environmental health transition
Basic Environmental Requirements for Health?
1. Clean air
2. safe and sufficient water
3. safe and adequate food suppy
4. safe and peaceful settlements
5. stable global environments
What are the three P's?
Principal Determinants of Health Worldwide:
1. pollution
2. population
3. poverty
Environmental Impact Model?
(Environmental Impact= Population x Affluence x Technology

Growth in environmental impact=growth in population x growth in affluence x growth in technology
What does the earth as a fishbowl mean?
Sunlight comes in, heat goes out but CO2 keeps the heat in
Why do we pollute the environment? Driving forces?
Population, technology, economic political and social values. Human needs and wants
What are mitigating forces trying to clean up the environment?
Environmental laws, market adjustments, informal social regulation
What are the 5 largest cities today?
1. Tokyo
2. Mexico City
3. Sao Paolo
4. New York City
5. Mumbai
What is the major driver of increased food demand?
the surging population!
-We've been consuming more food than farmers can produce
-35% of world grain is used to produce livestock feed
-increased demand on soil--> degraded an area of land the area of US and Canada combined
How much of the earth's water is usable by humans?
What has happened to the emission of cars?
The emissions from cars has gone down, but the number of vehicles has increased.
What is the primary source for generating electricity?
Coal burning
What does burning coal produce?
What's the difference between dirty coal and clean coal?
You can sell dirty coal to whoever wants it
Explain coal ash.
Coal combustion residuals (coal ash) are byproducts of combustion and are disposed of in the liquid form at surface impoundments and in the solid form at landfills.
-Contaminants: mercury, cadmium and arsenic (associated with cancer)
What is the EPA risk assessment of contaminants from coal ash?
without proper protection, it can leach into groundwater and can migrate to drinking water sources.
How is gold mining mostly used?
Why is gold toxic?
It's covered in mercury. When heated, it evaporates. Becomes gas and is toxic. Mercury is used to separate gold from rock. Causes neurological and genetic damage. Waste mercury in liquids enters river sediments and vegetation.
What is the exposure assessment equation?
exposure= intensity x frequency x duration
What are the patterns of exposure and list examples!
Continuous: breathing dust
Cyclic: ozone
Concentrated: wake up call (Chernobyl, Denora, London Fog)
Intermittant: smoking/seasons
Random: living near a factory
What are acute effects?
Short exposure to high concentration. Examples: Bhopal &
What are chronic effects?
Long-term exposure to low concentrations
asbestos, mesothelioma
lung cancer--radon
carbon monoxide detection
What is a cluster?
A cluster is when a group of individuals develop the same disease in numbers that appear too large to be due to coincidence.
What is environmental epidemiology?
the study of diseases and health conditions (occuring in the population) that are linked to environmental factors.
What kind of data does epidemiology use?
epi is primarily an observational science that takes advantage of naturally occurring situations in order to study the occurance of the disease
What is the epidemiologic triangle?
What is incidence?
occurance of new disease or mortality within a defined period of observation (week, month, year, etc) in a specific population
What is prevalence?
measure of disesase frequency and refers to existing cases of disease or deaths
What is point prevalence?
all cases of a disease that exist at a particular point in time relative to a specific population from which the cases are derived.
What is exposure-odds ratio?
Ratio of odds in favor of exposure among the disease group (the cases) to the ratio in favor of exposure among the no-disease group (the controls).
What are Hill's Criteria of Causality?
1. strength
2. consistency--repeatedly
3. specificity--specific association
4. temporality--cause before effect
5. biological gradient
6. plausibility
7. coherence
What is relative risk?
the ratio of the incidence rate of a disease or health outcome in an exposed group to the incidence rate of the disease or condition in a non-exposed group
Factors making environmental disease hard to identify:
1. latency-- long time between exposure and response
2. multi-factorial etiology--multiple factors influence the occurrence (and severity) of disease.
3. disease non-specificity (multiple causes besides environmental agents)
4. Individual characteristics-- susceptibility (genetic factors) and effect modifiers (diet, habit, health)
5. changes in response with changing dose
6. Mixed exposures (multiple agent exposures)
Traditional Epi vs. Traditional Environmental Epi
Traditional Epi: Disease--> [ ] --> exposure
Traditional Environmental Health:
Exposure--> [ ] --> Disease
What is molecular epidemiology?
Incorporation of biomarkers into analytic, epidemiologic research
What are biomarkers?
Chemical, molecular, biochemical or cellular alterations that are measurable in biological media, such as human tissues, cells, or fluids.
What is biomonitoring?
the utilization of biomarkers in the measurement of the body burden of toxic chemical compounds, elements, or their metabolites, in biological materials.
What are the different kinds of biomarkers?
Biomarkers of internal dose: direct measure of toxic chemicals or their metabolites in cells, tissues, or body fluids
markers of biologically-effective dose: assessment of the interaction of the active form of toxicants with their molecular targets.
Markers of early biological effect: assessment of molecular sequelae of toxicant-cell interactions
markers of altered structure and function: assessment of changes int he function or structure of cells and organs
markers of susceptibility: assessment of genotype/phenotype of individuals which predispose them to risk from chemicals
What is the major change in the top ten causes of death in the US from 1900 to 2009?
Cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases have all gone up, but the overall death rate has dropped 50%
Which two regions of the world are rapidly expanding their level of urbanization?
Africa and Asia
Which episode lead to the release of massive amounts of sulfur dioxide which resulted in about 900 deaths per day?!
1952 London Fog Episode
What are the 5 most populated countries in 2010?
1. china
2. india
3. US
4. indonesia
5. brazil
What will be the 5 most populated countries in 2050?
1. India
2. China
3. USA
4. Nigeria
5. Indonesia
What kinds of foods do people eat?
food with lots of salt, sugar and fat!
What are the components of the biological century?
1st: intensive studies at molecular/cellular level
2nd: genome sequencing and cloning
What are the different types of waste?
-Municipal solid waste
-Industrial waste
-Hazardous waste
-Medical Waste
-Radioactive Waste
What are the causes for increased waste?
-little economic incentive for americans to reduce waste
-demographic changes
-degree of urbanization
-consumer preference
-demand for convenience ahead of the economy
What waste category generates the highest amount?
What act banned ocean dumping of industrial waste, sewage sludge, radioactive waste, and all radiological, chemical and biological warfare agents.
1973 Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act
What are sources of MSW?
1. Households
2. Institutions
3. Industrial
4. Commercial
List ranking of municipal waste management from greatest to least effective?
Source reduction
Incineration with energy recovery
Incineration with no energy recovery
How is MSW management handled in US?
How much hazardous waste is generated in the US each year?
300-700 million tons/year
What is the main source of hazardous waste?
chemical industry
What are the hazardous waste characteristics?
1. Ignitability
2. Corrosivity
3. Reactivity
4. Toxicity
What are CAFOs
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
Who is John Snow?
John Snow worked with the cholera epidemic in London (showed the spread of disease was related to extracting water from the pump) and invented the central tenets of epidemiology.
What is common law?
Law coming out of a court case
What is statutory law?
Passed by legislators (federal). Pretty general.
What is federalism?
state, local, federal governments. Which level do you intervene?!?
What is cooperative federalism?
federal government has environmental law authority and delegates it to states
What is an injunction? What are penalties?
Injunction-- order issue that says you have to do something
Penalties-- if you violate the law, government asks you for money or can sue you
What is the definition of law?
rules or commands enforceable by the positive power of the state
-statutes, ordinances, court rulings backed by the government
-law has enforceable power that could be used against you
What is the definition of environmental law?
Laws that protect nature and ecology; and laws that protect public health and welfare
Name some major US environmental laws.
Clean Air Act
Clean Water Act
Safe Drinking Water Act
Resource, Conservation, and Recovery Act
Toxic Substances Control Act
National Environmental Policy Act
What are some challenges in law to protect environmental health?
1. Societal needs vs. Individual wants
-Striking proper balance; constitutional issues?
2. Turf wars
-National vs. State vs. Local
-Executive vs Judicial vs Legislative
-Agencies: EPA vs CDC vs OMB vs NIOSH
What are at the heart of US environmental law?
What do agencies do?
Adjudication and Rulemaking
-Administrative Procedure Act
What is adjudication?
a decision about a particular claim by a particular entity; assess penalty and injunctive or declaratory relief
What is rulemaking and the two different kinds?
agency decisions that affect groups of people, especially the regulated community
-Informal rulemaking: notice and comment
-Formal rulemaking-- Hearing
What are the 4 Risk Assessment steps?
1. Hazard Identification (wight evidence that substance causes adverse health effects; determine if relevant to 2 settings)
2. Dose/Response Assessment (extrapolate from observable to non-observable range or from animals to humans)
3. Exposure Assessment (where substance found, potential routes, how ppl exposed, who is exposed, magnitude, duration, timing)
4. Risk Characterization (risk estimates, significance of risk, assumptions and uncertainties)
What are the strengths of risk assessment?
1. Data on level playing field for everyone to see
2. Structured decision making process
What are the weaknesses of risk assessment?
1. Data gaps and uncertainties
2. Often hard to combine science
3. Doesn't have consistant meaning
4. RA takes a fair amount of time and sometimes incomplete. Often cannot wait that long.
What percentage of the world's grain is used to feed livestock?