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Introduction to Environmental

Health
HS 425

Environmental Health
There are 3 primary factors that affect
human health:
Genetic Factors
Personal behaviors
Environment
Healthy People 2010: Promote health for all
through a healthy environment.

ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS
Biological
Bacteria
Viruses
Protozoan
Chemical
Solvents
Metals
Toxic
compounds
Pesticides

Physical
Noise
Radiation
Heat / cold
Vibration

IMPACT OF GROWTH ON
ECOSYSTEMS
Degradation of Land Resources

Overgrazing
Soil Erosion
Deforestation
Desertification
Wetland losses

Loss of Biodiversity
Killing or collecting wildlife for food, pleasure or profit
Habitat destruction

WATER QUALITY

Water: a Precious Resource


71% of Earths surface is covered with
water
97.4% is in oceans
2% is unavailable
Less than 1 % is in fresh water bodies &
water vapor
Ground water resources are vital

Water Pollution
Causes:
Rapid growth of human population
Industrial outputs
Contaminants:
toxic chemicals
human and animal excrements
heavy metals
pesticides
silt
fertilizers
Sources of pollution:
Point sources
Non-point sources

Groundwater
of all Americans, 95% of farm families depend on
groundwater for their drinking water needs

Groundwater resources are valuable:

Purity
Dependability
Costs of Transportation
Treatment costs

Groundwater pollution:
Waste storage, treatment or disposal facilities
Septic systems
Pipes, materials transport and transfer operation
Non-point sources of pollution

Groundwater depletion

Water Contaminants
1. Biological

Bacteria : Typhoid fever, Cholera, Shigella


(dysentery), Salmonella and E. coli

Viruses: Heapatitis A, poliomyelitis and Rotavirus.

Resistant to desinfection by chlorination

Protozoans: Giardia Lambia, Cryptosporidium,


amoebic dysentery.

Resistant to desinfection by chlorination

2. Chemical

PCBs, industrial solvents, pesticides


Lead
Nitrates

Why does sewage need to


be treated?
To improve the quality of
wastewater so it can be
discharged in waterways
without seriously disrupting
the aquatic environment or
causing human health
problems.

Recreational Waters

In the year 2000, there were 1,266 beach


closings, in Southern California, 92% due
to elevated bacteria of undetermined
causes. The remaining 8% was due to rain
advisories and known sewage discharge.

AIR QUALITY

Global Air Pollution Issues

Major causes:

Introduction of atmospheric pollutants in unusual amounts

Changing the concentrations of natural atmospheric


components
Significant impacts:
1. Ozone depletion
2. Global warming

Air Pollution in Los Angeles


We have some of the worst
air in the nation, and the
highest number of
emergency visits caused
by smog and air
pollution
Air pollution contributes to
heart disease, lung
disease, asthma and
lung cancer

Air Pollutants with Greatest


Impact on Health
Outdoor

Ozone
Carbon monoxide
Airborne particles
Nitrogen oxides
Lead
Sulfur oxides
Diesel emissions

Indoor

Smoking
Mold
Dust mites
Radon gas

Air Quality Update


The following table summarizes the South Coast Air Quality Management
District's 1-hour ozone air quality for the current year and the previous year to
this date, in terms of the number of days exceeding the Federal 1-hour ozone
standard (exceeding 120 ppb) and the maximum ozone concentration
measured.

2003 (Year-to-Date)*

REGION:

DATE
of latest
information

South Coast Air District

10-23-2003

2002 (Year-to-Date)

# of Days
Above Federal
Ozone Standard

Ozone
Maximum
(ppb)

# of Days
Above Federal
Ozone Standard

Ozone
Maximum
(ppb)

66

216

49

169

* Note that all 2003 data used in this report are preliminary and are subject to change in the validation process.

SOLID WASTES

Solid Wastes
Classification
Municipal
Hazardous
Disposal methods
Unacceptable
Acceptable
Alternatives

FOOD SANITATION
According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the
following factors contribute to foodborne illness:

63% Inadequate Cooling and Cold Holding Temperatures


29% Preparing Food Ahead of Planned Service
27% Inadequate Hot Holding Temperatures
26% Poor Personal Hygiene/Infected Persons
25% Inadequate Reheating
9% Inadequate Cleaning of Equipment
7% Use of Leftovers
6% Cross-Contamination
5% Inadequate Cooking or Heat Processing
4% Containers Adding Toxic Chemicals
2% Contaminated Raw Ingredients
2% Intentional Chemical Additives
1% Incidental Chemical Additives
1% Unsafe Sources

***The numbers add up to more than 100% because more than one of the contributing factors are usually
implicated in foodborne illness outbreaks.

HOUSING CONDITIONS
The Los Angeles County Department of Health
Services, Environmental Health Division is
responsible for routinely inspecting all
apartment buildings and condominiums with
5 units or more to ensure that residential
housing within Los Angeles County is safe,
sanitary, and fit for human habitation.
As a new service, the latest inspection results for all
properties from November 1, 2001 to the present is
provided
http://www.ladhs.org/housing/

WHAT DOES AN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SPECIALIST DO?


INSPECTIONS AND ENFORCEMENT AT:
Restaurants, Groceries, and all Retail Food Service
Facilities
Businesses that store Hazardous Materials or treat
Hazardous Wastes
Public Swimming Pools at Hotels, Apartments, Schools,
etc.
Underground Storage Tanks for Petroleum Products
Small Public Water Systems to enforce Safe Drinking
Water Laws
Aboveground Storage Tanks for Hazardous Materials
Medical Waste Treatment and Transfer Facilities
Wastewater Disposal Systems
Solid Waste Systems
Labor Camps, Mobile Home Parks and other Housing
Public Kennels and Animal Boarding Facilities

CONSTRUCTION ASSISTANCE:
Wells
Septic Systems
New or remodeled facilities as noted above

EDUCATION AND GENERAL


ASSISTANCE:
Nuisance and Health Related Complaint
Abatement
Abandoned Vehicles
Used Oil Recycling
Hazardous Waste Reduction, Reuse, Recycling
and Collection
Solid Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
Pollution Prevention
Countywide Planning Guidance and/or Input
Land Use and Development Plan Reviews
Animal Shelter
Emergency and Disaster Response
Noise Control
Lead Abatement Oversight
Toxic Sites Mitigation Oversight
Groundwater Management