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Environmental Health and Environmental Protection

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What is the difference between environmental health and environmental protection? Give examples of environmental factors that might impact the health and wellness of public & community health?

What is public health bioterrorism readiness. What are some current measures in place to reduce bioterrorism attacks in the United States?

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Hi,

Good questions! Let's take a closer look.

RESPONSE:

1. What is the difference between environmental health and environmental protection?

By definition, the two concepts are different. Two definitions of environmental health are as follows:

(1) World Health Organization's definition for 'environmental health' is:

"Environmental health comprises those aspects of human health and disease that are determined by factors in the environment. It also refers to the theory and practice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that can potentially affect health" (http://alcor.concordia.ca/~raojw/crd/essay/essay001739.html).

(2) National Environmental Health Association Definition of Environmental Health (adopted April, 1996) is:

"Environmental health and protection refers to protection against environmental factors that may adversely impact human health or the ecological balances essential to long-term human health and environmental quality, whether in the natural or man-made environment" (http://www.neha.org/position_papers/def_env_health.html).

In comparison, the definition of 'environmental protection' from an online business dictionary is the:

"Policies and procedures aimed at conserving the natural resources, preserving the current state of natural environment and, where possible, reversing its degradation" (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/environmental-protection.html)

In public health, it would be as it relates to environmental factors that impact health. Specifically, Public health is the study and practice of managing threats to the health of a community. The field pays special attention to the social context of disease and health, and focuses on improving health through society-wide measures like vaccinations, the fluoridation of drinking water, or through policies like seatbelt and non-smoking laws. The goal of public health is to improve lives through the prevention and treatment of disease. The United Nations' World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." (http://www.who.int/en/ ).

(b) Give examples of environmental factors that might impact the health and wellness of public & community health?

Environmental factors include factors in the physical environment, polluted water, poor drainage, disease outbreaks, heat, polluted air, smog, to name a few (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/oi-ar/01_overview.html).

2. What is public health bioterrorism readiness?

Readiness is a developmental concept suggesting that a critical set of environmental and behavioral variables may influence the degree to which an individual or agency will engage in, and benefit from, a new experience. Factors influencing the degree of readiness can be negative (barriers or hindrances) or positive (facilitators) (http://rtc.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/health/Barriers.htm).

In other words, public health bioterrorism readiness means that degree to which the public health departments are ready and prepared for bioterrorism attacks (e.g. including biotoxin strikes ). A high degree of readiness includes policies and a plan or document of the steps that will be taken if a bioterrorism is suspected.

EXAMPLE:

For example the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) recognizes the importance of awareness and preparation for bioterrorism on the part of healthcare facilities. In cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), APIC offers this Bioterrorism Readiness Plan to serve as a reference document and initial template to facilitate preparation of bioterrorism readiness plans for individual institutions.

See the document on-line at (http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:f5-GlszWp7sJ:www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/pdf/bt/13apr99APIC-CDCBioterrorism.PDF+public+health+bioterrorism+readiness%3F&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=ca&client=firefox-a). This document is not intended to provide an exhaustive reference on the topic of bioterrorism. Rather it is intended to serve as a tool for infection control (IC) professionals and healthcare epidemiologists ...

Solution Summary

By example, this solution explores the difference between environmental health and environmental protection. It also explains the meaning of public health bioterrorism readiness and some of the current measures in place to reduce bioterrorism attacks in the United States.

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