Continue working on the naturally occurring risk you analyzed in Week 3. This week, you will establish the significance of the risk, the stakeholders, and the scientific, technological, and societal issues pertaining to the risk. In addition, you will turn to the critical focus of environmental health management—mitigation of the negative effects on population health.
Write a 4-5 page paper, based on the natural environmental health risk selected in Week 3.
Explain why this naturally occurring risk is important enough for you to research it. This may include information from your risk analyses in Week 3 or other reasons, such as the number of stakeholders, recent incidents, or personal experience.
Analyze three important scientific, technological, or societal issues pertaining to your chosen natural environmental risk. Justify the importance of these issues based on your research, and provide references to sources that support your analysis. To help guide your research and selection of these issues, note the following:
- Scientific issues may include the fields of science involved in the study or mitigation of this risk or other issues.
- Technological issues may include, for example, the types of technology that are available to determine and mitigate the risk.
Societal issues may include, for example, socioeconomic impacts and disparities, geographic occurrence, and others.
- Recommend a specific mitigation strategy for the natural environmental risk based on your comparison of at least two specific mitigation programs, policies, or strategies you discover through research.
Expert Solution Preview
The natural environmental risks in our surroundings can be a threat to public health. Therefore, it is crucial to analyze such risks and develop strategies for their mitigation. In this paper, we will discuss the significance of a naturally occurring risk, the stakeholders involved, and the scientific, technological, and societal issues related to the risk. Additionally, we will recommend a specific mitigation strategy based on researched programs, policies, or strategies.
Analyzing environmental health risks is important as they can have significant negative impacts on public health. For instance, my research on the risk of wildfires has revealed that natural environmental risks can cause hazardous air pollution and negatively affect both physical and mental health. Studies indicate that increased exposure to airborne particulate matter caused by wildfires has been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and long-term impacts on cognitive function (Johnston et al., 2012; Reid et al., 2016). Thus, this risk is important enough to research in terms of advocating for effective mitigation strategies.
Regarding scientific issues related to wildfires, determining the cause of the wildfires is one of the most critical subjects to address. Understanding the origin of the fire leads to insight into how we can effectively control and prevent future outbreaks. Secondly, technological issues must also be taken into account when considering wildfires. By leveraging technologies such as remote sensing, early detection, and aerial firefighting tactics, the mitigation of wildfires’ effects can be managed better. Lastly, societal issues also come into play when considering the effects of wildfires. Factors such as geographic location and susceptibility, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity, and demographic disparities all play a part in who is most affected by wildfires (Hadden et al., 2019).
After researching various mitigation programs and policies, I recommend prioritizing the expansion of prescribed burns as a part of an effective mitigation strategy for wildfires. A study from the University of Idaho found that prescribed burns decreased the probability of severe wildfires by 70 percent (Hanson et al., 2019). Prescribed burning can effectively reduce the wildfire risk by lowering the fire’s intensity and mitigating its effects on air quality and public health. Additionally, prescribed burning is a more cost-effective and less labor-intensive mitigation strategy than solely relying on aerial firefighting and contains other long-term environmental benefits—such as improving rangeland health and reducing invasive species populations.
Hadden, L., Hoogesteijn, A. L., Hess, J. J., Gonzales, M., Jackson, L. L., & Nguyen, T. (2019). Addressing health inequities: The role of environmental health in mitigating disparities and promoting resilience. GeoHealth, 3(2), 29-43.
Hanson, C. J., Abatzoglou, J. T., & Naficy, C. (2019). Prescribed fire reduces probability of high-severity wildfire occurrence in the western United States. Ecosphere, 10(9), e02836.
Johnston, F. H., Henderson, S. B., Chen, Y., Randerson, J. T., Marlier, M., Defries, R. S., … & Brauer, M. (2012). Estimated global mortality attributable to smoke from landscape fires. Environmental health perspectives, 120(5), 695-701.
Reid, C. E., Brauer, M., Johnston, F. H., Jerrett, M., Balmes, J. R., & Elliott, C. T. (2016). Critical Review of Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke Exposure. Environmental health perspectives, 124(9), 1334-1343.
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