Human and Environmental Repercussions from Harmful Exposure to Chemicals – Poisoning, Toxicology&Environmental Health Example

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"Human and Environmental Repercussions from Harmful Exposure to Chemicals" is a great example of a paper on poisoning, toxicology, and environmental health. Risk assessment is a fundamental legal responsibility in business to ensure the safety of employees and the community. Risk analysis assists businesses to identify who and what are the hazards and risks involved in its operation and to develop mitigation strategies. The conduct of risk analysis requires four distinct steps for a holistic framework to reduce or control human and environmental repercussions from harmful exposure to chemicals.

Chronologically the four steps are hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization (WHO, 1999).                         In the case presented, the underlying issues confronting the opposing groups are lack of transparency from the politicians and media on the efforts done on risk analysis of the proposed industrial park and the community’ s perceived riskiness of the hazard. Apparently, there was no consultation and risk and hazard communication done to inform the public and educate them on the risk analysis results, safety precautions, and even community action required to reduce or avoid the risks associated with the industrial park project.

In addition, the politicians’ view that emission inventories, environmental and biological monitoring data, and disease surveillance reports are enough proved that there was no complete risk analysis done on the project.   I agree over the request of the public for an exposure assessment and should be attended by the local politicians to safeguard the industrial park employees and the entire community. Chemicals are known to enter the human body through inhalation, eye or skin absorption, ingestion of chemicals or contaminated food or drink, and transplacental transfer in pregnant women (WHO, 1996).   An increase in the level of exposure to harmful chemicals leads to manifesting adverse effects, the response would be the frequency of the affected people in the exposed population (WHO, 1996).                     The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry revealed that toxic substances have negative effects on a human organ system and its development particularly on the cardiovascular system, skin, endocrine, gastrointestinal, hematological, hepatic, immunological, musculoskeletal, neurological, ocular, renal, reproductive, and respiratory (from nose to lungs).

Chemicals are released in the environment in liquid, gas, fumes or dust, whether intentionally or not (WHO, 1996).

Environmental problems that could possibly emerge due to inept risk analysis are water, air and food contamination, harmful algae bloom and radiation (CDC, 2009). Chemical pollutants in the air “ have an effect on plants and animals at extremely low concentrations, at even less than 1 µ g (or one-millionth of a gram) of chemical per cubic meter of air” (WHO, 1996). Chemicals in water and soil can lead to an increase in acidity, change in temperature, and algae growth which could destroy aquatic resources, plants, and livestock production.                       Insufficient risk analysis means poor quality of risk management plan that could either lead to human and environmental disarray or help create new jobs, improve industrial facilities and develop new products.

To get the positive results, the World Health Organization (1999), suggested analytical tools to consider in risk management by studying the societal factors, individual and population risks, comparative risks, risk perception, risk and hazard communication, economic factors or cost-benefit analysis, political factors, and regulatory limits. It is highly important that the people responsible for risk management understand the goal and objectives of the industrial park business and all the data collected to ensure the implementation of appropriate policies, proper accountability, and efficient use of limited resources.

References

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxic Substances Portal. Retrieved from

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/ToxOrganSystems.asp

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Environmental Health.

Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehhe/about.htm#epht

World Health Organization (WHO). (1996). User’s Manual for the IPCS Health and Safety

Guides. IPCS International Programme on Chemical Safety. Retrieved from

http://www.inchem.org/documents/hsg/hsg/hsgguide.htm#SectionNumber:2.1

World Health Organization (WHO). (1999). Principles for the Assessment of Risks to Human

Health from Exposure to Chemicals. Environmental Health Criteria 210. IPCS

International Programme on Chemical Safety. Retrieved from

http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc210.htm

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