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EESA10H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Pentachlorophenol, Neural Tube Defect, Arsenic Pentoxide

Environmental Science
Course Code
Silvija Stefanovic
Study Guide

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Lecture 1
What is environmental health?
In its broadest sense, environmental health comprises those aspects of human health, disease and injuries that
are determined or influenced by factors in the environment. This includes the study of both the direct pathological
effects of various: chemical, physical, social environment (housing, urban development, land use and
What is the environment?
*Environment is everything that affect a living organism, *effect of environment on human health is so great, *Air,
*Water, *Soil, *Manmade environment
Environmental Health
*Human population and consumption, *Human alteration of Earth is substantial and growing, *Protecting the
environment has been a mainstay of public health practices since 1878, *Environmental factors responsible for 25
% of all preventable diseases, *Diarrhea and respiratory infections heading in the list, *Rich & poor, *African
Americans & Hispanic & Whites, *Developed & developing countries
Types of Hazards
Chemical hazards (chemicals in air, water, soil and food)
Biological hazards (bacteria, viruses, parasites, allergens, animals such as bees and poisonous snakes)
Cultural (social) hazards (unsafe working conditions, poor diet, drugs, drinking, driving, poverty)
Physical hazards (radiation, fire, tornado, hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquake)
Lecture 2
OUTDOOR AIR QUALITY: Six common Air Pollutants
1. Ozone (03) also known as “ground level ozone”
VOC + NOx + Heat + Sunlight = Ozone
-Summertime pollutant, time of the day, seasonal, climate
-Good in stratosphere *Bad on a ground *Transported on long distances
-Lung damage (small airways)
-Shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing and nausea
-Irritate and damage eyes, nose, sinuses and throat
-Affects people who exercise a lot outdoors
2. Particulate matter (PM)
-Particles found in the air (dust, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets). Can be big or small
-Vehicles, factories, construction sites, tilled fields, stone crashing, burning
-Some are formed in the air -can cause serious health effects
3. Carbon monoxide
-Odourless, colourless gas
-Incomplete burning of carbon containing fuels
-Heaters, woodstoves, gas stoves, fireplaces, water heaters, automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke
-1 000 people die each year in USA as result of CO poisoning
-Sometimes confused with flu or food poisoning
-Fetuses, infants, elderly and people with heart and respiratory illnesses are at high risk for adverse health effects
-Interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body
-Worsen cardiovascular conditions, fatigue, headache, weakness, confusion, disorientation, loss of coordination,
nausea, dizziness, and death.

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Prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning
-Never leave a car engine running in a shed or garage or in any enclosed space
-Proper selection, installation, and maintenance of appliances
-Correct use -Good ventilation -Use CO detectors
4. Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
-Form in any type of combustion process
-Involve in formation of ground level ozone
-Form nitrate particles, acid aerosols
-Contribute in formation of acid rain
-Transported over long distances
5. Sulphur oxides (SOx)
-Burning of coal and oil, extraction of metals from ore
-SO2 dissolve in water vapor to form acids
-Acids react with other gases and particles and form sulphates
-Transported over long distances
-Respiratory illnesses, aggravates existing heart and lung diseases
6. Lead (Pb)
-Vehicles and industrial sources
-Leaded gasoline
-Particularly effect young children
-Deposit on soil and water
-Children accidentally can eat soil
-Contains 2-5 times higher concentration of hazardous pollutants than outdoor air
-Buildings more airtight to conserve energy inadequate ventilation
-People spend about 90% of their time indoors
-Children, pregnant women, elderly, people with chronic illnesses
Sources of Pollutants
-Building materials and furnishing
-Asbestos insulation
-Wet or damp carpet
-Furniture made of certain pressed wood products
-Cleaning products and air fresheners
-Personal care and hobbies
- Pesticides, Cooking, Bathing, Heating (combustion of oil, coal, wood), Radon, Smoking, Outdoor pollution
Indoor Air Pollution…
-Hard to detect by our senses
-Symptoms are similar, need years to develop
-Headaches, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, itchy nose, scratchy throat, Cancer, asthma
-Group of six different fibrous minerals
-Have separable long strong and flexible heating resistant fibers
-Used in: Building materials (roofing shingles, ceilings and floor tiles, paper products, and asbestos cement
products), Friction products (automobile brake and transmission parts), Heat resistant fabrics, packaging and
Asbestos in environment
-Do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water, do not brake down
-Fibers and particles may remain suspended in the air and carried long distances
-Not able to move through soil

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How might you be exposed to asbestos?
-People working in some industries
-People living near these industries
-During demolition work and re-modeling
-From drinking water (natural or asbestos containing cement pipes)
Health effects of Asbestos
-Affect the lungs and the membrane that surrounds the lungs
-Asbestosis- Scar-like tissue, not in general public
-Difficulty breathing, often cough, heart enlargement, lead to disability and death
-Plaques in the pleural membranes
-Increase of cancer (lung, stomach, esophagus, pancreas, kidney),risk increase with smoking
-Low levels can be measured in urine, faces, mucus
Formaldehyde in Indoor Air
-Volatile organic compound (VOC), naturally occurring gas, colorless, strong smell
-Become a gas at normal room temperature
-Also released by burning wood and natural gas, by automobile and by cigarettes
-Glue or adhesives in press wood products (particleboards, MDF, plywood)
-Preservatives in some paints and cosmetics
-Coatings that provide permanent press quality to fabrics and draperies
-Finish used to coat paper products
-Certain insulation materials
Health effects of Formaldehyde
-Watery eyes, burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat
-Nausea, coughing, chest tightness, Asthmatic reactions
-Skin rashes, Allergic reactions
Mold, Moisture and Indoor Air Quality
-Need moisture, do not need standing water, high relative air humidity
-Bathrooms and kitchens, Gym areas, Locker rooms, Leaky roof areas, Damp basements
-On or within wood, paper, carpet and foods
-The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture (maintaining the relative humidity between 30-60%)
-Often undiscovered
-Produce tiny spores
-Discoloration and odor problems
Mold Health effects
-Major source of indoor allergens, Trigger asthma, Produce Toxins, Produce Irritants
Secondhand Smoke
-Contain 4 000 compounds (CO and Formaldehyde), 40 are carcinogens
-Each year 3 000 lung cancer deaths in nonsmoking adults in USA
-Eye, nose and throat irritation
-Affect the cardiovascular system, Higher risk of asthma, pneumonia, ear infection, bronchitis in children
Air Dust and Indoor Air Quality
-Heating and cooling systems of force air systems
-Dust particles, Pollen or other debris
-Duct Cleaning Service Providers
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