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Environmental Health For Final

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Health Sciences
Renee Mac Phee

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH Environmental Pollution Water Pollution  Pathogens o Refers to living, biological organisms like bacteria, viruses and protozoa o Enter the water system though human and animal wastes o Example: E. coli, cryptosporidium  Biological imbalances o Eutrophication  Overabundance of nitrates and phosphates in the water  Can contribute to the overgrowth of plants o Putrefaction  The result of depleted oxygen in the bodies of water where plants have overgrown The environment is not stable enough to support animal life   Result = fish tend to die and float to the top where they begin to decay  Toxic substances o Refers specifically to non biological, non living substances o Includes toxins, metals, chemicals like DDT (weed killers), PCBs o Consumed by the fish in the water system, and then ingested by humans o Example: mercury, lead, arsenic, oil  Other: oil spills, thermal pollution (industries who use water too cool water, which is then returned to the ocean/lake), sediments Land Pollution  Solid waste o Open dumping (regular landfill) o Sanitary landfill (biological waste, eg. medical waste) o Ocean dumping  Safety issues for animals (they eat the waste)  Fish start to eat the dumped waste and when it stops coming the food chain is disrupted  Waste can wash up on shore  Chemical waste o Pesticides o Herbicides Radiation  Radiation o Non ionizing radiation  Moves in longer wave lengths  Less dangerous  Examples: radio waves, TV signals, microwaves, infrared waves, visible light o Ionizing radiation  More dangerous because of release of particles and electromagnetic rays during breakdown of atomic nuclei  Examples: uranium, sunlight o Radiation is measured in "rads"  Radiation absorbed doses  Aka roentgens o Maximum recommended yearly exposure should not exceed 5 rads = safe  100-200 rads = radiation sickness  350-500 rads = can result in death  600-700 rads = fetal  Radiation sickness o Harmful effects on body tissues that are exposed to radioactive substances o Absorption  Radiation can penetrate the whole body and be absorbed in the soft tissues (eg. muscles, lungs, brain) and the hard tissues (eg. bones) o Exposure  One time deal versus cumulative  Nagasaki/Hiroshima (will effect 6 to 7 generations)  x-ray techs - must wear a TLD o TLD - thermal luminescent detector  Dosimeter that measures the amount of radiat
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