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Week 11 Lecture

Environmental Science
Course Code
Jovan Stefanovic

of 5
Environmental Hazards to Specific Populations
Environmental Hazards to Specific Populations
1.Childrens environmental health
2.Womens health and environment
3.Workers and noise hazards
4.Elderly and environmental health
1A. Childrens Environmental Health children are vulnerable population, cases higher
than adults
Different exposure patterns between children and adults
The limited diet of children
Behaviour unique to children
How and where children spend their time
The impact of short statue
The limited diet of children
3-4 times more food in proportion to their body size than adults
Children eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air than their
body weight
Fewer types of food limited choices, e.g. only milk for babies
Breast milk is contaminated with organic chemicals (organic chemicals are
soluble in fats), so babies are exposed to organic chemicals
Large quantities of specific foods
Especially during their first couple of years (i.e. more vegetables)
Drink more water relative to their body weight
Since they drink more, they are exposed more
Behaviour unique to children
Mouthing behaviour (2-6 olds touch their mouths about 9 times every hour)
Ingestion of soil (Deliberate or compulsive behaviour)
Paint (recent recalls of toys from China because of high levels of lead)
Small objects
Infectious agents
Disinfection byproducts children love to swim, in the swimming pools there
are disinfection byproducts (chlorination), and children swallow more water
than adults, so they can consume more of this disinfection byproducts than
Skin exposure to disinfection byproducts or chlorine has increased
their chance to absorb and be exposed to contaminants
Participation in certain athletics and/or risky activities
Construction sites
Risky playing activities climbing up the trees
Exposure to sun
How and where children spend their time
Spend most of their time indoors
Crawling and playing on the floor (dust, pollutants, infectious agents, radon)
Playing on the grass (pesticides, skin infections, pets, fungal infections are difficult
to treat)
The impact of short statue
The breathing zone of the adults is 4-6 feet above the floor or ground
For children is much lower, especially babies who are crawling on the ground
1B. Childrens Environmental Health
Physiological differences between children and adults
Higher metabolic rate
More active than adults (eat more, drink more, breathe more air)
Dermal adsorption
higher ratio of skin surface area to body weight than adults,
skin is more permeable, any chemical can easily go through the skin
Gastrointestinal adsorption
large surface area of intestines in proportion of body size, they can absorb
more of the chemicals, and the food stays longer in the intestines
prolong gastric emptying time, absorption of pollutants in intestines into
blood is high
calcium-lead transport mechanism
lower stomach acidity
Respiratory adsorption
Breath twice as much air
Blood- brain barrier depends on age
Greater blood flow to the brain and other organs
The size of the some organs relative to body mass is greater
Biotransformation processes are less developed
Rapid growth and development
More time to develop chronic diseases
Womens Health and Environment
Role in reproduction and in bearing and nursing of children
Influence the health of their children (healthy mother = healthy child)
Carry more fat organic chemicals are soluble in fat
Live longer than man –on average due to different hormone levels
Breast cancer (gene, hormones, synthetic chemicals)
Osteoporosis (fragility of the bones that can easily break, lead and cadmium role)
Occur among women in menopausal period
Not enough calcium in the bones during the fertile period
Instead of calcium, there may be more lead and cadmium in the body
Workers and Noise Hazards
Most common occupational hazard
Damage to the sensitive cells lining the inner part of the ear (damage or loss of
1.Loss of high frequency sounds(4000Hz)
2.Loss of lower frequency sounds (<4000Hz, within a few years) if exposed to noise for
a longer period of time
E.g. person will have difficulty hearing the difference between fifty and sixty
Ear check by an audiologist
No more than 85 decibels
Elderly and Environmental Health (immune system is weak)
Rapidly growing aging population in Canada, more and more elders
Chronic diseases and disabilities due to poor environmental conditions
Indoor and outdoor air pollution spend a lot of time indoor
Microorganisms in water
War and the Environment
War and the Environment
Nuclear weapon technology (radioactivity, testing and use)
Aerial bombing
Human casualties
Displacing of people (refugees)
Destruction of goods (houses and poor housing, roads, bridges, lost
everything and limited supply of essential needs, malnutrition)
Destruction of forests a lot of forests burned
Production of toxic gases, dust during forest burning as well as
bombings and explosions
Land mines can represent huge risks
Unexploded mines - reduce communication and movement of people,
clean up of unexploded mines
If explode:
human and animal casualties and injuries
affect biodiversity
disrupt soil and water processes
War and the Environment
Chemical war
human and animal casualties and poisoning with toxic chemicals
destruction of food and water sources (defoliation of forests or