- 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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