Talk:Environmental health

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how[edit]

how is biostatistics used in environmental health

I've worked in environmental health for 35 years and all I can say is that this article is terrible. It's disjointed, has no references, includes an irrelevant section on nutrition and so on. My plan is to completely rewrite it. What are everyone's thoughts?Armona 20:20, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you. I'd love to see a rewrite, but don't have a lot of time at the moment. Still, if you were to start mocking up a rewrite on a page in your userspace, I'd be happy to look at it and make suggestions -- this article has a long way to go. bikeable (talk) 04:53, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I am not in the EH field, but the article was ridiculous, so I took the liberty of deleting the nutrition section and at least organizing the rest of the info into contained categories rather than scattered unrelated info. It's not ideal, but at least it's a start, and at least it's better than what was there before. Perhaps those of you in the field can carry on from here. Softlavender (talk) 08:26, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, gang, I did quite a bit of clean up and adding headings and organizing and making things more coherent. One thing that I think is relevant is for at least a small section on the built environment to be added (since there is currently a large segment on the natural environment, but none on the built environment). Softlavender (talk) 01:01, 26 November 2007 (UTC)\
Thank you for starting to clean up this article. It still needs a lot of work IMO. I agree that the built environment needs to be covered. Armona (talk) 01:16, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome. Yes, obviously it needs quite a bit of work. Since the environmental health field is huge, this article can (and should) be quite large and comprehensive; so I think, beyond being rather fundamental and somewhat choppy, it's now sort of scratching the surface of the field. By the way, some of the stuff that has been deleted over time (I'm NOT talking about the nutrition thing) is still relevant, and was probably just in the wrong place or badly written, or someone was in a bad mood. If someone wants to go through past versions and check for those (I don't have time or inclination right now), it may be worthwhile. Some of my redo was from the earliest version of the article. Lastly, I don't even know what environmental health actually comprises in its totality, so only someone who is in the field can know exactly what needs to be added. For instance, is industrial air pollution the purview of environmental health? Softlavender (talk) 03:14, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Environmental health does include industrial air pollution and many other topics ranging from global climate change to the prevention of unintentional injuries. Armona (talk) 02:52, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
That is a very broad definition that is not shared by everyone. For example, "prevention of unintentional injuries" is an element of the safety profession, and many do not consider that to be part of "environmental health."
In general, those working most directly on this article should be aware that separate articles already exist for many topics that ARE considered to be part of environmental health. So this article need not cover them in detail but can include a sentence or two along with a reference to the main article on most of them. As a result, there is no intrinsic need for this artilce to be especially long. Pzavon (talk) 03:43, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
"As a result, there is no intrinsic need for this article to be especially long." Granted, although a lot of what is now there is quite interesting and useful; so, should it be necessary to shorten what is now there, I'd like to see the shortened info moved to the revelant subject article rather than completely deleted. Softlavender 06:18, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
There is no question among knowledgeable EH professionals that "unintentional injuries" is a component of environmental health, although not addressed in many environmental health programs. It is an environmental health issue because it involves an external disease or injury agent, namely, kinetic energy. Gcarter12 22:55, 04 March 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. Obviously some EH professionals hold that injuries are part of environmental health, since you make the assertion above. Others do not. I am among the latter group. An MS in Environmental Health and 30 years in the field, qualifies me, I think as a "knowledgable EH professional." Pzavon (talk) 02:35, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Ah, Pzavon, but your 30 years of experience has trapped your thinking within the traditional and old concepts of environmental health. Unintentional injuries as an environmental health issue is new and has been included as the practice of environmental health becomes more sophisticated. Kinetic energy is every bit a valid disease agent as electromagnetic energy, wouldn't you agree? The only difference is that it is a newcomer. Gcarter12 16:29, 05 March 2008 (UTC)
Your apparent love of the "new" seems to have blinded you to the fact that a claim that "there is no question among knowledgeable EH professionals" on any topic requires that the vast majority agree. And that is simply NOT the case. It rarely is the case with something that is "new". However, in this case, kinetic energy has been recognized as an injury agent (it does not generally produce disease) for longer than Environmental Health has been recognized as a distinct field of study. Trying to include it within EH seems to me to be a unilateral attempt to incorporate an already existing discipline. Some might call that empire building. Pzavon (talk) 03:29, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
OK Prazon, I have 35 years of experience (albeit no MS) and I direct a local government's environmental health agency so I would suggest that we are equally knowledgeable EH professionals, at least for the purposes of this discussion. In my opinion, the prevention of unintentional injuries is indeed an environmental health issue -- and NOT a new one. We conducted an environmental safety program in my agency back in the 1970s. Armona (talk) 23:08, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I would also like to add that the U.S. National Environmental Health Association's 2008 Annual Conference will include a section entitled, "Injury Prevention/Occupational Health." Armona (talk) 23:46, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Most professional conferences of that sort have cross-functional offerings these days. Their presence in any one conference is not "proof" that one field is part of another, merely that practitioners mainly of one field have a real need to understand related fields and be able to function in them at least at a basic level. Look at the Industrial Hygiene offerings at ASSE annual conference, the Safety and the Health Physics offerings at AIHCE, etc., etc. Pzavon (talk) 00:24, 14 April 2008 (UTC)\
I disagree, there is often overlap between professional disciplines, biology and physics for example. Do you disagree that injury prevention is more a part of environmental health than is geopathic stress, which has a link in the article? Armona (talk) 01:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I had not looked at the geopathic stress link before you mentioned it. It is, in my opinion, clearly unrelated (it redirects to Lay lines) and I have removed it. Whether injury prevention is more a part of environmental health and geopathic stress is not, in my opinion, a valid question, since I don't think it is part of environmental health at all. Pzavon (talk) 12:43, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
"how is biostatistics used in environmental health" Biostatistics is an integral component of epidemiology, the science which drives the practice of environmental health. Gcarter12 22:59, 04 March 2008 (UTC)

External links[edit]

There are far too many external links on this page which provide no understanding of environmental health. A list of organisations related to the topic doesn't belong here. - Shiftchange (talk) 10:05, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Adding an overview of the basic disciplines in EH[edit]

I think this article would benefit from a brief description of the disciplines of EH (environmental epidemiology, toxicology, exposure science) and how these work together to influence environmental health policy (e.g. through risk assessment). I have served as a teaching assistant for an intro EH course, and this is generally how we introduce the subject, but if you have other suggestions, I welcome them. I just feel that the list of "Concerns" is unorganized and doesn't give any structure to the description of the field. I will add this section, but would appreciate help with finding references aside from the course notes/text. Thanks! --AlisonLC (talk) 16:39, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Here is a draft, mostly based on the book Environmental Health: from Global to Local, 2nd. edition, edited by Howard Frumkin, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. San Fransico, 2010.

== Disciplines of Environmental Health ==
Three basic disciplines generally contribute to the field of environmental health: environmental epidemiology, toxicology, and exposure science. Each of these disciplines contributes different information to describe problems in environmental health, but there is some overlap among them.
  • Environmental epidemiology studies the relationship between environmental exposures (including exposure to chemicals, radiation, microbiological agents, etc.) and human health. Observational studies, which simply observe exposures that people have already experienced, are common in environmental epidemiology because humans cannot ethically be exposed to agents that are known or suspected to cause disease. While the inability to use experimental study designs is a limitation of environmental epidemiology, this discipline directly observes effects on human health rather than estimating effects from animal studies.
  • Toxicology studies how environmental exposures lead to specific health outcomes, generally in animals, as a means to understand possible health outcomes in humans. Toxicology has the advantage of being able to conduct randomized controlled trials and other experimental studies because they can use animal subjects. However there are many differences in animal and human biology, and there can be a lot of uncertainty when interpreting the results of animal studies for their implications for human health.
  • Exposure science studies human exposure to environmental contaminants by both identifying and quantifying exposures. Exposure science can be used to support environmental epidemiology by better describing environmental exposures that may lead to a particular health outcome, identify common exposures whose health outcomes may be better understood through a toxicology study, or can be used in a risk assessment to determine whether current levels of exposure might exceed recommended levels. Exposure science has the advantage of being able to very accurately quantify exposures to specific chemicals, but it does not generate any information about health outcomes like environmental epidemiology or toxicology.
Information from these three disciplines can be combined to conduct a risk assessment for specific chemicals or mixtures of chemicals to determine whether an exposure poses significant risk to human health. This can in turn be used to develop and implement environmental health policy that, for example, regulates chemical emissions, or imposes standards for proper sanitation. --AlisonLC (talk) 17:09, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
The proposed new Disciplines of Environmental Health would definitely improve the article. I recommend that you go ahead and add it. Armona (talk) 00:34, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Possible advertorialising[edit]

Hi. I've just removed (for now) a recent addition of rather a lot of material on a specific mapping programme, which looked rather too like advertorialising and also suffered from lack of attention to audiences outside the US. I suggest that a mention of the particualr tool in question can be reintroduced subsequently if these deficits are remedied. John Snow II (talk) 00:35, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Program Content Of Environmental Health[edit]

The following subjects should be known in advance as one prepares to join the expeditious club of the Environmental Health Inspectors; these are Mathematics,Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geometrical & Technical Drawing, Home Economics And English. These prerequisite subject helps a lot and one can never go wrong with this.Collibeey — Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.63.9.2 (talk) 20:57, 16 February 2014 (UTC)