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Environmental Hazards Paper

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Submitted By 1erichouston
Words 445
Pages 2
Environmental Hazards Paper
Eric Houston
ENV 100
8 September 2014
Wendy Armstrong

In this paper I will be discussing what toxicants are and how they affect living organisms. I will also cover disease-causing agents and how they are transmitted. Last but not least I will go over how changes in the environment contribute to human diseases and are linked by human activities. Environmental hazards affect human population in many ways and we must be aware of the problems.

Toxicants are man-made (synthetic) substances that present a risk of death, disease, injury, or birth defects in living organisms through absorption, ingestion, inhalation, or by altering the organism’s environment ("What Is Toxicant?", 2014). Toxicants are made by humans while toxins are produced naturally by living organisms. Examples of toxicants are pesticide, chlorine, asbestos, and mold. Toxicants can affect living organisms in many ways. One way that toxicants can affect living organisms is by killing off marine life. If the substance gets into the water it can cause fish and invertebrates to start to die. It can also include a change in the abundance, structure and variety of biological communities and habitats. The fish can also cause health risks to consumers of those organisms.

The next things I will discuss are disease-causing agents. A disease causing agent is often referred to as a pathogen. A pathogen, such as a virus or a strain of bacteria can enter the body and cause a host of symptoms. Many times, these symptoms collectively indicate the presence of a type of disease and/or infection. Two types of agents are viruses and bacteria. Viruses are the most commonly known disease-causing agent. Friedl (2014), “They cause colds, the flu, HIV, meningitis, polio, chicken pox, rabies, West Nile, and a number of other diseases. Viruses themselves aren't living things, but they do get transmitted between living organisms”. Bacteria are living organisms and are made up of one cell. Things that bacteria cause are infections and diseases.

Infectious diseases are associated with social and demographic changes over the years. The reason for this is because of urbanization and globalization. When human activity changes the environment the natural ecosystems are destroyed. This is not good for the environment at all. Most of these diseases came about when people move to urban areas from rural areas. Your sewers and drains become breeding grounds for mosquitos that carry diseases.

References
Friedl, S. (2014). Disease-Causing Agents in the Environment: Definition and Types. Retrieved from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/disease-causing-agents-in-the-environment-definition-and-types.html#lesson
What is toxicant?. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/toxicant.html

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