HSA 551 Strayer University Assessing Environmental Risks from Human Activity Paper

As you know, humans need food, shelter, clothing, and other manufactured goods. The production activities related to meeting these needs are sources of environmental risk. As a result, the environmental health management field focuses on risks from food production and manufacturing. In this assignment, you will examine a risk in one of these areas, evaluate its characteristics for creating outrage, and describe management efforts for the risk.


Write a 4-5 page paper using the following directions:

  1. Select an environmental risk that results from either food production or manufacturing. In the introduction to your paper, identify the specific risk you selected and whether it is related to food production or manufacturing. Describe the food production or manufacturing activity that creates the risk, including details about location or setting, as well as stakeholders.
  2. Risk analysis.
    • Identify the release information.
    • Research the circumstances under which exposure takes place. Either document examples of releases that have taken place or describe plausible release scenarios.
    • Describe the effects of this risk on individual and population health. Provide examples of the effects, specific exposures, and health-related incidents.
  3. Risk Communication: Evaluate the attention-getting potential of this risk based on its characteristics. Page 47 of the textbook lists the features of a risk that are likely to arouse outrage.
  4. Management and Harm Reduction: Research the way this risk is managed and reduced, such as through regulation or legislation. If you cannot find the information for this risk, in particular, research management and hard reduction for similar risks. Evaluate the success of at least two risk management or harm reduction approaches for the risk. Support your evaluation with reference to resources. These management or reduction efforts may include the following, or others:
    • Laws that apply to limiting or regulating the activity.
    • Programs or laws that require cleanup related to this risk.
    • Costs of mitigation or treatment of effects.

Expert Solution Preview

Introduction: The field of environmental health management deals with risks arising from production activities related to basic human needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. This assignment requires the selection of one environmental risk arising from food production or manufacturing. The selected risk needs to be analyzed in terms of its characteristics and potential harm to individuals and populations. In addition, risk communication and management approaches need to be evaluated, along with their effectiveness in reducing harm.

1. The selected environmental risk is related to food production and concerns the use of pesticides in agriculture. Pesticides are chemicals used to control pests, weeds, and diseases that can harm crops. The specific activity that creates the risk is the spraying of pesticides on crops in agricultural fields. This activity takes place in various locations, including farms and orchards, and involves stakeholders such as farmers, pesticide manufacturers, and crop buyers.

2. Risk analysis:
– Release information: Pesticide release can occur through overspraying, drift, leaks, spillage, or disposal of leftover pesticides. These releases can contaminate soil, water, and air, affecting human health and wildlife.
– Exposure circumstances: People can be exposed to pesticides through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. Examples of exposure include farmworkers, nearby residents, and consumers of contaminated food.
– Health effects: Pesticides can cause acute or chronic health effects, depending on the level and duration of exposure. Examples of acute effects include nausea, dizziness, headache, and skin irritation. Chronic effects can lead to cancer, neurological disorders, reproductive problems, and developmental delays.

3. Risk communication: Pesticide use is a risk that can arouse outrage due to its perceived toxicity and environmental harm. The characteristics of this risk that can generate outrage include dread, uncertainty, and inequity. For instance, pesticides are often associated with cancer risk, and their effects on vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women are uncertain.

4. Management and harm reduction: Pesticide use is managed and reduced through various approaches, such as regulation, education, and alternative methods. Two examples of risk management or harm reduction approaches are:
– Integrated Pest Management (IPM): This approach involves reducing pesticide use by integrating various pest control methods, such as crop rotation, biological control, and cultural practices. IPM has been found to reduce pesticide exposure and increase crop yield.
– Pesticide regulation: Government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate pesticide use through the registration and labeling of products, setting of tolerances, and enforcement of safe use practices. However, pesticide regulation is often criticized for being inadequate, slow, and influenced by industry interests.

In conclusion, the use of pesticides in food production is an environmental risk that requires careful risk analysis, communication, and management to reduce harm to human health and the environment. Effective management approaches need to balance the need for pest control with the need for safety and sustainability.

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