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Chapter 1- Environment, health and risk (Lecture 1).docx

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thLife Support Chapter 1Environment Health and Risk pg 16 pg 1012Jan 11 2012 IntroductionImproved water food and milt sanitation reduced physical crowding improved nutrition and central heating with cleaner fuels were the development most responsible for the great thimprovements in public health achieved in the 20 century Global warming pop growth habitat destruction and resource depletion have produced a widely acknowledged environmental crisis These problems are not amendable to quick technical fixes where they require profound social changes for their solutions The Environmental CrisisBetween 13and of the land surface has been transformed by human action the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the industrial revolution more atmospheric nitrogen is fixed by humanity than by all natural terrestrial sources combined more than half of all accessible surface fresh water is put to use by humanityabout one quarter of bird species on earth have been driven by extinctionDeclines in frog populations around the world have been observed by scientists where they claim that it is not a single factor responsible for this this is the clearest indication of environmental treats to human health Rather the health and reproductive success of amphibians is being damaged by interactions between an increase in the intensity of ultraviolet UV light because of thinning of the stratospheric ozone traces of globally distributed toxic chemicals virulent fungi and bacteriaThe driving forces of the decrease of our environment are population growth and industrializationThe worlds industrial production increased 100 fold manufacturing increased by factor of 7 the use of fossil fuels by a factor of 4 the number of automobiles by a factor of 10 from 53 to 520 million and the production of synthetic chemicals by several orders of magnitude Human activity had increased the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide by nearly 30 percent doubled the concentration of methane both potent greenhouse gases and introduced long lived ozone destroying chlorofluorocarbons into the stratosphere humans made emissions of sulfur and nitrogen which led to acid rain now equal or exceed the natural flux of these elements and human made emissions of lead cadmium and zinc exceed the natural flux by factor 18 Human and Ecosystem HealthEcosystem health The idea recognizes that humans are participants in complex ecosystems and that their potential for health is proportional to the health function of those ecosystems an ecosystembased health perspective takes into account the health related service that the
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