HUMAN HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT Lec 10 Environmental Hazards to Specific populations

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

HUMAN HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT Lec 10: Environmental Hazards to Specific Populations -four most important at-risk groups: children, women, workers and the elderly Children Environmental Health -different exposure patterns between children and adults: -children have a limited diet -eat 3-4 times more food in proportion to their body size than adults -fewer types of food -large quantities of specific foods -drink more water relative to their body weight -children have higher metabolism  eat, breathe and drink more per body weight than adults  take in more contamination  higher concentration in body -there are also behaviour unique to children: -mouthing behaviour (2-6 year olds touch their mouths about 9 times every hour) -can lead to ingestion of soil (deliberate/compulsive behaviour), paint, small objects, infectious agents, disinfection byproducts -participation in certain athletics and/or risky activities -construction sites -swimming -risky playing activities -exposure to sun  risk from sun increases with age  adolescents less like to put on sunscreen than children -smoking adolescents -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) -zoonosis  illnesses that can be transmitted from animals to people -also short statured -breathing zone of the adults is 4-6 feet above the floor/ground  for children it is much lower -physiological differences between children and adults: -higher metabolic rate -more active than adults (eat more, drink more, breathe more) -dermal adsorption -higher ratio of skin surface area to body weight than adults -skin is more permeable -gastrointestinal adsorption -large surface area of intestines -prolonged gastric emptying time -calcium-lead transport mechanism  lead and calcium absorption is similar in body  will affect children more  i.e. 100 ppm of lead absorbed by adults vs. by children -lower stomach acidity  not always bad -respiratory adsorption -breathe twice as much air -blood-brain barrier depends on age  blood brain is the chemical barrier that allows/prohibits certain chemicals to go into the brain  mechanism is not fully developed in young children  children’s brains are more vulnerable-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 Women’s Health and Environment -role in reproduction and in bearing and nursing of children -influence the health of their children -carry more fat -live longer than men on average -i.e. breast cancer (due to genes, hormones, synthetic chemicals) -i.e. osteoporosis (fragility of the bones, lead and cadmium role) Workers and Noise Hazards -most common occupational hazard -damage to the sensitive cells lining the inner part of the ear (damage or loss of hearing) -first comes the loss of high frequency sounds (>4000Hz) -then comes loss of lower frequency sounds (<4000 Hz, within a few years) -ear ch
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