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 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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