Environmental health

How are the methods of risk assessment, risk management, risk communication, and the
precautionary approach used in environmental health when responding to environmental
health hazards? Discuss an environmental health issue within your region. What
precautionary approach can be initiated to address the issue?

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When responding to environmental health hazards assessment frameworks such as risk
management play a significant role in the alleviation of the situation through the definition of the
options available and the evaluation of the environmental health, political, economic, and social
aspects. These are followed closely by the assessment of these aspects in making informed
decisions regarding the appropriate course of action, taking necessary measures in the
implementation of the decisions, and monitoring the effectiveness of the actions taken (Briggs,
Stern & Tinker, 2012). Similarly, risk communication involves the dissemination of pertinent
information regarding the course of action that should be considered, measures applied, and
factors to look out for when addressing the environmental health hazard. These are coupled with
the provision of guidelines on the on how to assess the actual or potential risk, how to determine
the effects of the welfare of other people and to ensure adherence with the policies, objectives,
programs as well as plans.
Most fundamentally, the application of the precautionary approach in responding to
environmental health hazards entails the creation of an impetus to make a decision, in spite of the
scientific uncertainty regarding the extent and nature of the risk. It should thus focus on the
careful evaluation of the situation to avoid irreversible damage to the environment and further

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conduct an assessment of the risk-weighted consequences of the various options (Briggs, Stern&
Tinker, 2012). For instance, in my local community, the most significant environmental health
issue entails the drainage of toxic waste and material into the various water bodies in the region.
This issue is associated with numerous adverse effects that have contributed to the outbreak of
different illnesses and other adverse outcomes. As such, the precautionary approach that can be
initiated to address this issue entails the thorough evaluation of the extent of the damage to the
environment and the assessment of the risk-weighted consequences of various options. On the
one hand, since the viable option, in this case, entails the identification of alternative waste
disposal strategies, the application of a precautionary approach would involve determining he
susceptible populations, potential exposure pathways, and possible management options that may
mitigate exposure.

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References

Briggs, D. J., Stern, R. M., & Tinker, T. L. (2012). Environmental Health for All: Risk
Assessment and Risk Communication for National Environmental Health Action Plans.
Springer Science & Business Media.

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