Chapter 18

Environmental Hazards and Human Health


1.     Define risk, probability, and risk assessment. List four general types of common hazards and give two examples of each. Describe the relationship between health and the American workplace.


2.     Define dose and response. Distinguish among acute and chronic exposures. Distinguish among acute and chronic effects. Summarize three methods used to enhance our understanding of toxicity of chemicals.


3.     Define a dose-response curve. Distinguish between a linear dose-response model and a threshold dose-response model. Describe the difficulty in deciding which model applies best when low doses are involved. Assess the limits of toxicological research.


4.     List five principal types of chemical hazards and give two examples of each.


5.     Define mutagen, teratogen, and carcinogen.  Summarize current research implying chemical effects on the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems.


6.     Distinguish between transmissible and nontransmissible diseases. Summarize current states of the fights against tuberculosis, malaria, and infectious bacteria.


7.     Summarize steps to improve health in developing countries.


8.     Summarize key questions to be answered in risk-benefit analysis, risk assessment, and risk management. What are the useful applications and limits of these analyses?


9.     List several cases in which the public generally perceives that a technology or product has a greater risk than the risk estimated by experts.


Key Terms  (Terms are listed in the same font style as they appear in the text.)


carcinogens (p. 426)

dose (p. 429)

dose-response curve

epidemiology (p. 420)


hazardous chemical (p. 426)

infectious disease (p. 419)


metastasis (p. 426)

mutagens (p. 426)

neurotoxins (p. 426)

nontransmissible disease (p. 419)


poison (p. 431)

probability (p. 419)

response (p. 430)

risk (p. 419)

risk analysis (p. 433)

risk assessment (p. 419)

risk management (p. 419)

teratogens (p. 426)

toxic chemical (p. 426)

toxicity (p. 429)

toxicology (p. 429)

toxin (p. 431)

transmissible (infectious) disease (p. 419)