The Ecological Approach to Health – Poisoning, Toxicology&Environmental Health Example

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"The Ecological Approach to Health" is a remarkable example of a paper on poisoning, toxicology, and environmental health.                       The rising numbers of fatalities and injuries have been considered as an emerging issue in the Santa Clara County of San Jose, California. According to the recent statistical information, 1,522 bicyclists were recorded to be injured in the County of San Jose between 2005 and 2009. Contextually, the teenagers, within the age group of 10 to 19 years, have been considered as the majority group of the population suffering from fatal injuries in the Santa Clara County due to the bike lane problem (Lepe, 2011).

Concerning this, the bike lane safety issues, within this particular community, has been identified as the primary reason that not only impose road safety-related health risks to the teenagers or high school student bikers but also increases the risk for pedestrians within the Santa Clara County. Correspondingly, to gain an in-depth understanding of this particular health issue, the population targeted in this study will be the teenagers within the age group of 10 to 19 years residing within the surrounding community of Silver Creek High School, who have been witnessing severe risks to fatalities due to the insufficient space of the bike lane in the Santa Clara County. List of Facts or Statements “ 1,654 pedestrians and 1,522 bicyclists were injured in San Jose over five years (‘ 05-’ 09); that’ s over 50 injuries per month” (Lepe, 2011) “ A man died after he was hit by an SUV while pedaling his bicycle through a large south San Jose intersection shortly before 7 p. m.

Tuesday, according to police” (Kurhi, 2013) “ When asked to identify changes that would most improve the health and wellness of people in their neighborhood, 25% of Santa Clara County adults suggested adding a public park, bike lane, or sidewalk… ” (Santa Clara County Public Health Department) “ Helmets are required for everyone under the age of 18 years when riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or skates” (Traffic Safe Communities Network, n.d. ) “ In California, with hundreds of miles of bicycle paths and a temperate climate, up to 5,000 serious bicycle injuries are reported each year… ” (Champlin & Perales, 1998) “ According to the 2010 Santa Clara County Health Profile Report, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death due to unintentional injuries, many of which are predictable and preventable” (The County of Santa Clara, 2014) Social-Ecological Web The ecological approach to health defines a holistic mechanism that encompasses several policies and measures to improve the socio-logical along with health-related well-being of the population in a particular region or community.

An ecological approach to health focuses on both the individual effects and population-level consequences of the health issue and various types of intervention mechanisms. It generally considers several community-based issues rather than emphasizing the determination of continuous effort to improve individual well-being within a particular community or area (American College Health Association, 2013).

With regard to the issue associated with bicycle fatalities and injuries of the teenagers in Santa Clara County, the following table depicts the major risk factors and possible protective measures in response to the issue. With reference to the above-presented table, two types of major risk factors can be observed, including modifiable and unmodifiable elements. The modifiable risk factors are defined in accordance with their increasing probability. In this context, the size of the bike lane, traffic controlling system, and lack of using/adopting safety measures can be identified as the key modifiable risk factors.

On the other hand, the unmodifiable risk factors also impose major influences on young adult school students while riding their bikes. In this regard, the aspects, such as increasing numbers of bikers, high traffic of motor vehicles, and inadequate space of widening bike lane can be considered as the major unmodifiable factors. In order to prevent the issue of increasing frequency of fatalities and injuries, the continuous refurbishment of public safety and healthcare policies and continuous education of risk prevention measures to the teenage school students has been considered as few key protective factors that can be beneficial in overcoming the stated problem.

Moreover, taking adequate measures to increase bike lane and sidewalk areas within the county can also enable better prevention of the increasing numbers of fatalities and injuries of teenage bikers in Santa Clara County. Spectrum of Prevention The emerging numbers of accidental records in Santa Clara County have been recognized as a public concern due to the rising numbers of injuries and fatalities of the teenagers, i.e.

the selected population comprising school students from the Silver Creek High School community (Champlin & Perales, 1998). In this regard, the risk factors associated with the particular concern can be addressed through the implementation of a few key ideas. In relation to the aforementioned ideas, the refurbishment of public policies and continuous education for maintaining safety measures can play a major role in the teenage bikers in the county. Community Context Matters             The community has the vital and key responsibility to effectively address various types of concerns within a particular area.

In relation to the issue of rising numbers of fatality and injury of the teenage bikers, building strong relationships among the institutions and community members can significantly reduce the number of accidental records of the school students in Santa Clara County. Additionally, the social institutions and the community should also encourage developing informational networks regarding the particular concern, which can also prevent the risks faced by this segment of the population in the targeted community.

The intervention measures concerning the issue have been tailored through aligning different obligatory functions of the social institutions along with each community member within the Santa Clara County. In this context, the effective allocation of the aforesaid ideas and activities would significantly increase the efficacy level of risk prevention measures within the community. Community Health Promotion is Political Contextually, the public policy should highly focus on taking immediate measures regarding the frequency of injuries and fatalities of the teenage bikers within San Jose. Fostering coalition and network-related strategies with each community member can play a key role to protect the teenage bikers from any kind of on-the-road hurdles (Public Health Department, 2004).

The public policy should also take adequate measures of promoting community education, especially targeting teenage school students to establish effective accident preventive guidelines and policies. The process would significantly strengthen the individual knowledge and skills of the school students to prevent any accidental event (The County of Santa Clara, 2014). In this context, increasing numbers of traffic controlling systems across different streets within the community can help the institutions to prevent the injuries and fatalities of the teenagers.

Moreover, the deployment of advanced technological equipment’ s CCTV cameras and Geographic Information System (GIS) can further provide adequate support to the social and governmental institutions regarding the concern (American College Health Association, 2013). Health Promotion and the Role of Insiders and Outsiders With respect to the abovementioned mechanisms and various risk prevention measures, it can be ascertained that the insiders and outsiders of the community play a generous role concerning the issue of protecting teenage bikers from various types of injuries and fatalities.

According to the issue, insiders such as the teenage groups, their parents along with other social institutions including schools and healthcare departments have major obligations towards protecting young adults from different types of accidental events occurring extensively in bike lanes. Arguably, the mandatory course of education within the schooling program can improve the knowledge and skills of the teenage bikers to prevent diverse uncertainties. In this process, the students would be informed about adequate regulations and risk preventive measures to protect them from any accidental events.

Moreover, a parent learning program within the community can also prevent the risks faced by teenage bikers. Concerning the roles of the outsiders, it can be stated that the social and governmental institutions have also major responsibilities towards the protection of the teenage population in Santa Clara County. In this context, the policy development measures and developing infrastructure of the community campuses can strengthen the capability of the institutions to protect teenage bikers in the country. Epilogue The rising numbers of accidental events of the teenage bikers in Santa Clara County have long been witnessed as a major concern for both the government and the community.

With respect to the issue, the study has mentioned possible measures and practices to reduce the frequency of fatalities and injuries in this demographic region. During the interventional process of the policies and practices, I have gained an in-depth understanding that continuous development of community safety policies can have major implications for ensuring adequate protection of each community member. With regard to the issue of Santa Clara County, I have identified that the adequate measure of community development policies along with student and parents learning programs, can significantly reduce the frequency of fatalities and injuries of the teenage bikers.


American College Health Association. (2013). Ecological model. Retrieved from

Champlin, J. & Perales, D. (1998). A Model for Increasing the Use of Bicycle Helmets. Retrieved from

Kurhi, E. (2013). San Jose: Bicyclist killed in collision with SUV. Retrieved from

Lepe, C. (2011). 2011 San Jose & Alum Rock Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor cyclist & pedestrian injury analysis. Retrieved from

Public Health Department. (2004). Unintentional Injury Report 1991-2001. Retrieved from

The County of Santa Clara. (2014). Traffic Safe Communities Network. Retried from

Traffic Safe Communities Network. (n.d.). Bicycle & pedestrian safety for parents and youth. Retrieved from

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