Health hazards

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?

Risk Assessment

Health hazards comprise of any artificial or natural matter, physical, chemical, or
biological substance with the capability of producing adverse health effects in particular
circumstances. Risk assessment involves making estimates of the potential of undesirable health
outcomes upon exposure to an environmental risk (Chartres, Bero, & Norris, 2019). Methods of
risk assessment, management, and communication, as well as the precautionary approach used in
environmental health, take different phases. They begin with a process of identifying the
hazardous substances along with a review process establishing their risk level. It often requires
experts such as epidemiologists and toxicologists. Important substances such as chemicals
require synthesizing evidence and coming up with reference values to quantify their levels. The
methods take account of baseline threats and deviations in risk over time towards establishing
whether or not action is needed (Chartres, Bero, & Norris, 2019). They also make comparisons
of various elements that influence the nature and degree of the risk. The identified issues gain
prioritization per their levels of risk. Reference to health regulation values and acceptance
standards remain paramount towards instituting precautionary measures against environmental
hazards and consequently offer adequate protection to public health.

Within my region, a major environmental health issue involves the treatments and
disposal of wastewater. The lack of an agency system addressing the wastewater being dumped
in rivers raises great concerns. However, a precautionary approach that can be initiated to
address the issue is the use of contact persons and agencies charged with handling all activities of
wastewater treatment in different areas (Chartres, Bero, & Norris, 2019). The agencies will
provide companies with training, laboratory testing services, and technical support whenever
needed to make toxicology analysis of their wastewater. They will also organize widespread
campaigns to educate everyone on the importance of wastewater treatment and why they should
use the health agencies’ recommendations. Success will be noted where periodic testing of river
water to check the levels of toxins reveals a significant reduction in the same.



Chartres, N., Bero, L. A., & Norris, S. L. (2019). A review of methods used for hazard
identification and risk assessment of environmental hazards. Environment
international, 123, 231-239.