Community Health Care: A Current Environmental Issue

Present a detailed discussion concerning a current environmental issue (e.g., indoor air
pollution, outdoor air pollution, water sanitation, water shortage, food sanitation, direct or
indirect food additives, noise, radiation, garbage, biohazards, occupational hazards) that is
impacting the populations of the world and public health. What is a law that has been
enacted to protect the public regarding the environmental issue? What is the purpose of the
law, and what impact does the law have on the public’s health? Do not repeat a response
provided by another student. Your contribution to the discussion should clarify or expand
upon current statements, raise additional questions, or foster related topic issues.

Community Health Care: A Current Environmental Issue

Detailed Discussion

After Taiwan got into the World Trade Organization, foodstuffs from all over the world
could be accessed in the country. Moreover, the food industries could access raw materials from
many regions. However, there was a revelation that starch often contained maleic anhydride, an
unapproved chemical. The chemical was added illegally in a number of foods. This incident
attracted immense public attention. If maleic anhydride is consumed in high doses for a
prolonged period, there are grave impacts on the kidney (Chang & Hwu, 1991). After the Taiwan
authority did investigations, it was revealed that maleic anhydride was being used in an abusive
manner during modified starches’ production.

The law that protects the public

Maleic anhydride is recognized and approved by EU and FDA as an indirect food
additive. The Act Governing Food Sanitation is an acknowledged law that guards the public
against illegal food additives (Berwick, Godfrey & Roessner, 1990). The law puts strict
restrictions to food manufacturing companies and violations attract various forms of punishment.

Purpose of the law and impact on public health

In case after investigations it is confirmed that maleic anhydride modified starch was
used illegally, several handling principles are applied. According to article 29 of the Act, the

COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE 2
products in violation of the regulations should be destroyed. Second, the offender shall be
imposed a fine that ranges between NT$30,000- NT$150,000 (Lewin et al., 2005). Third, the
responsible manufacturers are supposed to carry out the recall process as stated in “Regulations
of Recall and Destruction for Food and Related Products.” These measures are overseen by The
Act Governing Food Sanitation and are aimed at ensuring that the public is protected from
detrimental health impacts.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE 3

References

Berwick, D. M., Godfrey, A. B., & Roessner, J. C. (1990). Health Care. New Strategies for
Quality Improvement. San Francisco, CA: Josscy-Bass.
Chang, F. C., & Hwu, Y. C. (1991). Styrene maleic anhydride and styrene glycidyl methacrylate
copolymers as in situ reactive compatibilizers of polystyrene/nylon 6, 6 blends. Polymer
Engineering & Science, 31(21), 1509-1519.
Lewin, S., Dick, J., Pond, P., Zwarenstein, M., Aja, G. N., van Wyk, B. E., & Patrick, M. (2005).
Lay health workers in primary and community health care. The Cochrane Library.

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