environmental or occupational exposure

  • Identify an environmental or occupational exposure to a chemical or group of chemicals in which you are interested—the topic for your final project. For ideas about topics, you can consult the following sources:
    • The textbook
    • The environmental health topics section of the CDC website
    • The environmental health topics section of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) website
    • The toxic substances section of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) website
    • The case studies in environmental medicine from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) website
    • The hazards and exposures section and the chemicals section of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH’s) website. NIOSH is a part of the CDC.
  • Determine how your chosen exposure affects human populations, i.e., the health problems or disease caused by this chemical or group of chemicals.
  • Choose a topic that is not overly broad. For example:
    • Choose one chemical: Lead exposure will make a better topic than exposure to toxic heavy metals, which include lead, mercury, chromium, cadmium, etc. (described in the textbook).
    • Choose a specific population at risk: This population is exposed either to one chemical or to a closely related group of chemicals, such as pesticide exposure to children in agricultural families or occupational exposure to organic solvents among pregnant women.
  • Write a 3 to 5-page paper in a Microsoft Word document addressing the following:
    • Describe the chosen environmental or occupational exposure.
    • Explain the importance of this exposure problem to human health in terms of both of the following issues:
      • The extent of exposure, e.g., the estimated number of people exposed
      • The seriousness of disease or diseases associated with the exposure to the substance or group of substances
    • Describe the population you will study (e.g., the whole population, individuals living in poverty, children, pregnant women, workers in specific occupations, etc.)
    • Explain why you are interested in the environmental or occupational public health problem you selected and the population you selected.

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