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UNIT 5 ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

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UNIT 5  ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH Powered By Docstoc
					                                                          ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


UNIT 5: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH




                                                                                              Taken from :
                                http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/2006-12-21-malaysia-flooding_x.html




Pre-reading activity:

Previewing the topic: Look at the above illustration and discuss the questions.
   1. What can you see from the illustration?
   2. What do you think are the health problems flood victims are exposed to ?
   3. In your opinion, what should be done to help flood victims from being exposed
      to flood-related health problems?




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Read the following newspaper article and answer the questions that follow.



                                    In Case Of Flood

In view of the recent floods in some states in Malaysia, here’s a look at what the World
Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have to say
on risk assessment and preventive measures when floods occur.

A general overview

MANY of us in Malaysia have had to deal with floods. It’s become almost like a part of
life in Malaysia – flash floods in certain areas of the Klang Valley after a heavy
downpour, the monsoon months that affect the east coast, and so on.

But the current situation in the southern states of Peninsular Malaysia has taken some of
us by surprise. Scenes of submerged cars and houses have undeniably left an impact on
many of us. Those affected will feel the impact for quite some time.

Why has this happened, especially in the south? Climate change has been cited as one
reason. But there are other factors such as drainage, development density and so on.
Ultimately, the lesson to be learnt is that nothing can be taken for granted. It could
happen almost anywhere in the country.

The impact on the economy is undeniable. The damage to property and infrastructure, the
disruption to daily living, relief efforts to help support those who’re affected, these are
the tangible effects that we see. But there are other, “intangible” effects, both physical
and psychological, and these also need to be addressed.

Impact on health

In general, there is often an increased risk of infections when a flood occurs. However,
this is only significant when water sources are compromised and/or if there is population
displacement, ie, people being moved from their homes to designated flood relief centres.


Of immediate concern is the physical threat to lives from drowning, heart attacks and
injuries. The number of deaths associated with flooding is closely related to the life-
threatening characteristic of floods (rapidly rising waters, deep flood waters, objects
carried by the rapidly flowing water) and the behaviour of victims.

Injuries such as sprains/strains, lacerations, contusions and so on are also likely to occur
in the aftermath of a flood disaster as residents return to their homes to clean up damage
and debris. Tetanus is not common after injury from flooding, and mass tetanus
vaccination programmes are not indicated.


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However, tetanus boosters may be indicated for previously vaccinated people who sustain
open wounds or for other injured people depending on their tetanus immunisation history.
Passive vaccination with tetanus immune globulin is useful in treating wounded people
who have not been actively vaccinated and those whose wounds are highly contaminated,
as well as those with tetanus.

Then there are the developments in the days or early weeks following the flooding. They
include infectious diseases (gastrointestinal diseases, dermatitis, conjunctivitis,
leptospirosis and so on) and cases of vector-borne diseases (dengue, malaria). Of concern
would also be the possibility of poisoning caused by the rupture of underground
pipelines, dislocation of storage tanks, overflow of toxic waste sites, or release of
chemicals stored at ground level.

In the longer term, it is now recognised that some of those affected could develop post-
traumatic stress disorder, including anxiety and depression, psychosocial disturbances
and suicide. Aside from the trauma caused by the flooding itself, many mental health
problems stem from disruption of social networks; loss of property, jobs and family
members and friends. They may continue for months or even years after the event itself.

In particular, the effects of flooding can be particularly devastating to already vulnerable
populations such as children, the elderly, the disabled, and those with a low income who,
because of social, political and economic constraints, experience special health care
needs. Consequently, these groups may suffer more from flooding and may need special
consideration during the response and recovery periods.

Public health preventive measures

Early warning of a risk of flooding, and an appropriate response by the population, have
been shown to be effective in reducing casualties.

Planning for floods enables communities to respond effectively to possible threats to
health. Local and central authorities can organise and effectively coordinate relief
activities. This should include initiatives to ensure water quality, food safety, sanitation
and hygiene; precautions during clean-up activities; immunisation when appropriate;
protective measures against potential vector-borne diseases and chemical hazards; and
measures to ensure mental health and well-being, such as stress reduction and counseling
for both the victims and those who respond to the emergency.

Both during and after floods, it is very important to carry out monitoring and surveillance
of flood-related diseases, to map potential risks, to estimate the vulnerability of
communities, to make an inventory of existing resources, and to implement
national/regional coordination mechanisms, so as to ensure an appropriate response to
any unforeseen development in the future. – Compiled by PAUL YEO

                                                             Taken from: Health, The Star
                                                                         January 28, 2007


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Comprehension Questions


1. What are the causes of flood in Johor?

     _____________________________________________________________________



2. What does the writer mean when he says `nothing can be taken for granted’?

     ____________________________________________________________________



3. What are the effects of flood mentioned in the article ?

     ____________________________________________________________________



4.   The word `tangible’ has two different entries (as stated in Oxford advanced learner’s
     dictionary)

        1) that can be clearly seen to exist
        2) that you can touch and feel

      Which one of the above is the meaning for the word `tangible’ as found in the text?

      __________________________________________________________________



5. What would happen if we do not observe our water sources during flood?

     ____________________________________________________________________



6. Who are the people at risk of infections during flood?

     ___________________________________________________________________

     ___________________________________________________________________




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                                                        ZH2032 English for Life Sciences



7. The article mentions two factors that can pose threats to life during flood. List the
   two factors.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________________



8. The word `response’ has two different entries (as stated in Oxford advanced learner’s
   dictionary)

       1) a spoken or written answer
       2) a reaction


     Which one of the above is the meaning for the word `response’ as found in the text?

     ___________________________________________________________________



9. What are the two ways that can lessen fatalities during flood?

    ___________________________________________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________________




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     10. Fill in the boxes with the effects experienced in early weeks after flooding.




                     effects experienced in early weeks after flooding




a.   infectious diseases           b.                                    c.




                                                                              which is caused by


                                                    d.




                                                    e.




                                                    f.




                                                    g.




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                                                                     ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


     11. Fill in the boxes with the effects experienced in the longer term after flooding.




                                 effects experienced in long term after flooding


      a. post-traumatic stress                                                   e.
         disorder




            which includes                             examples                            which leads to


b.                                                        f. loss of property

                                                                                          i.

                                                          g.


c.

                                                          h.




d.




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                                                          ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


Grammar: Past Perfect Adjective

The text has a few examples of past perfect adjectives:

       scenes of submerged cars and houses
       water sources are compromised



 What is past perfect adjective?

Past perfect adjective is word in past perfect form that gives more information about a
noun.

   Let’s look at the first example.

       scenes of submerged cars and houses

            past perfect adjective           nouns

submerged gives more information about cars and houses

   Now, let’s look at the second example

       those affected



 pronoun ( a substitute of noun)       past perfect adjective

affected gives more information about the pronoun those



When do we use past perfect adjective?



       We use past perfect adjective to describe how someone feels.

For example: The children usually feel bored on Sunday.

`bored’ is the past perfect adjective. It tells more about `The children’. The word

`bored’ tells how the children feel.


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       We also use past perfect adjective to talk about a completed process.

   For example : Fried potatoes taste good when they are still hot.

    The word `Fried’ is the past perfect adjective. It tells more about `potatoes’. The

   word `Fried’ tells that the potatoes are no longer in the frying pan. They are cooked

   and ready to eat.




       How to identify a past perfect adjective?




   `Climate change has been cited’

    `vaccinated people’

Which one of the above has past perfect adjective? Adjectives (for this case, a past
perfect adjective) come before nouns and after is, are, am, was, were, become, get seem
look and feel. Let’s go back to the examples cited before.

       scenes of submerged cars and houses
       The children usually feel bored on Sunday.

In the first example above, the word `submerged’ comes before the nouns cars and
houses. In the second example, ` bored’ comes after the word feel. Both `submerged’
and ` bored’ are past perfect adjective.

Another way to tell whether the word is an adjective is by checking if the word tells more

about the noun in the phrase / sentence. In the phrase `vaccinated people’, the word

`vaccinated’ tells more about `people’. So, `vaccinated’ is an adjective.




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                                                          ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


However, in the phrase `Climate change has been cited’, the word cited does not tell

more about `climate’ or `change’. So, it is not a past perfect adjective.




   Let’s try out this exercise . Put (√) next to the sentences/ phrases which have past
   perfect adjectives.



   1. Nothing can be taken for granted.

   2. There is often an increased risk of infections when a flood occurs.

   3. people being moved

   4. designated flood relief centres

   5. the number of deaths associated with flooding

   6.   tetanus booster may be indicated

   7.   injured people

   8.   wounded people

   9    early warning has been shown to be effective

   10. flood-related diseases




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                                                  ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


Let’s look at the articles in the previous units. Write down in the spaces below at
least five (5) sentences / phrases that have past perfect adjectives.



Example: saturated fat

          From article 1, Unit 1



1. __________________________________________________________________
   ( from article 1 / 2, Unit ______ )



2. __________________________________________________________________
   ( from article 1 / 2, Unit ______ )



3. __________________________________________________________________
   ( from article 1 / 2, Unit ______ )



4. __________________________________________________________________
   ( from article 1 / 2, Unit ______ )



5. __________________________________________________________________
   ( from article 1 / 2, Unit ______ )




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                                                      ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


      ASSIGNMENT 1
    BLOG WRITING (10%)


Article 1 of this unit mentions a few diseases which are related to flood. Some of them
are conjunctivitis and malaria. Which of the flood-related diseases mentioned in the
article is the most common? Do you know any other flood-related diseases which are
not mentioned in the article? In your opinion, what are the ways to curb ONE of the
diseases? Write down your opinion in the BLOG. Post it to the blog. Your instructor
will give the blog address. Then, share your opinions with your classmates. Do you
agree with them? If yes, why? If you don’t, give your reasons. Below are some
guided questions to assist you in completing your assignment.




the most common flood-related disease

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________



other flood-related diseases which are not mentioned in the article

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________



the ways to curb one of the diseases

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________




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                                                          ZH2032 English for Life Sciences

       ASSIGNMENT 2
       READING COMPREHENSION TEST (10%)

     Read the text and answer the following questions.


                                       Indoor Pollution
       Since the early eighties we have been only too aware of the devastating effects of
       large-scale environmental pollution. Such pollution is generally the result of poor I
       government planning in many developing nations or the short-sighted, selfish policies
       of the already industrialized countries which encourage a minority of the world’s
5      population to squander the majority of its natural resources.

       While events such as the deforestation of the Amazon jungle or the nuclear disaster in
       Chernobyl continue to receive high media exposure, as do acts of environmental
       sabotage, it must be remembered that not all pollution is on this grand scale. A large II
10     proportion of the world’s pollution has its source much closer to home. The recent
       spillage of crude oil from an oil tanker accidently discharging its cargo straight into
       Sydney Harbour not only caused serious damage to the harbor foreshores but also
       created severely toxic fumes which hung over the suburbs for days and left the angry
       residents wondering how such a disaster could have been allowed to happen.

15     Avoiding pollution can be a full-time job. Try not to inhale traffic fumes; keep away
       from chemical plants and building-sites; wear a mask when cycling. It is enough to
       make you want to stay at home. But that, according to a growing body of scientific III
       evidence, would be a bad idea. Research shows that levels of pollutants such as
       hazardous gases, particulate manner and other chemical `nasties’ are usually higher
       indoors than out, even in the most polluted cities. Since the average American spends
20     18 hours indoors for every hour outside, it looks as though many environmentalists
       may be attacking the wrong target.

       The latest study, conducted by two environmental engineers, Richard Corsi and
       Cynthia Howard-Reed, of the university of Texas in Austin, and published in
       Environmental Science and Technology, suggests that it is the process of keeping IV
25     clean that may be making indoor pollution worse. The researchers found that baths,
       showers, dishwashers and washing machines can all be significant sources of indoor
       pollution, because they extract trace amounts of chemicals from the water that they
       use and transfer them to the air.

       Nearly all public water supplies contain very low concentrations of toxic chemicals,
30     most of them left over from the otherwise beneficial process of chlorination. Dr. Corsi
       wondered whether they stay there when water is used, or whether they end up in the
       air that people breathe. The team conducted a series of experiments in which known V
       quantities of five such chemicals were mixed with water and passed through a


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                                                          ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


     dishwasher, a washing machine, a shower head inside a shower stall or a tap in a bath,
35   all inside a specially designed chamber. The levels of chemicals in the effluent water
     and in the air extracted from chamber were then measured to see how much of each
     chemical had been transferred from the water into the air.

     The degree to which the most volatile elements could be removed from the water, a
40   process known as chemical stripping, depended on a wide range of factors, including
     the volatility of the chemical, the temperature of the water and the surface area VI
     available for transfer. Dishwashers were found to be particularly effective: the high
     temperature spray, splashing against the crockery and cutlery, results in a nasty plume
     of toxic chemicals that escapes when the door is opened at the end of the cycle.

45   In fact, in many cases, the degree of exposure to toxic chemicals in tap water by
     inhalation is comparable to the exposure that would result from drinking the stuff.
     This is significant because many people are so concerned about water-borne pollutants VII
     that they drink only bottled water, worldwide sales of which are forecast to reach $72
     billion by next year. Dr. Corsi’s results suggest that they are being exposed to such
     pollutants anyway simply by breathing at home.
50
     The aim of such research is not, however, to encourage the use of gas masks when
     unloading the washing. Instead, it is to bring a sense of perspective to the debate of the VIII
     pollution. According to Dr. Corsi, a disproportionate effort is wasted campaigning
     against certain forms of outdoor pollution, when there is much or more cause for
     concern indoors, right under people’s noses.
55
     Using gas cookers or burning candles, for example, both result in indoor levels of
     carbon monoxide and particulate matter that are just as high as those to be found
     outside, amid heavy traffic. Overcrowded classrooms whose ventilation systems were IX
     designed for smaller numbers of children frequently contain levels of carbon dioxide
60   that would be regarded as unacceptable on board a submarine. `New car smell’ is the
     result of high levels of toxic chemicals, not cleanliness. Laser printers, computers,
     carpets and paints all contribute to the noxious indoor mix.

     The implications of indoor pollution for health are unclear. But before worrying
     about the problems caused by large-scale industry, it makes sense to consider the X
65   small scale pollution at home and welcome international debate about this. Scientists
     investigating indoor pollution will gather next month in Edinburgh and at the Indoor
     Air conference to discuss the problem. Perhaps unwisely, the meeting is being held
     indoors.


                                                                              Adapted from:
                                                                               IELTS, 2005




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                                                     ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


  SECTION A (10marks)

  Vocabulary

  Match the following words with their respective meanings as used in the passage.
  The first one has been done for you.

  0. devastating        (line 1) ________k__________              a. findings
                                                                  b. instability
  1. encourage          (line 4) ___________________
                                                                  c. anticipated
  2. disaster           (line 6) ___________________              d. poisonous

  3. severely           (line 12) ___________________             e. remove
                                                                  f. affects
  4. evidence           (line 17) ___________________
                                                                  g. very small
  5. particulate        (line 18) ___________________             h. illness

  6. extract            (line 27) ___________________             i. studies
                                                                  j. effects
  7. volatility         (line 40) ___________________
                                                                  k. terrible
  8. forecast           (line 47) ___________________             l. dangerous

  9. noxious            (line 61) ___________________             m. catastrophe
                                                                  n. helpful
  10. implications      (line 62) ___________________
                                                                  o. support




Reference

What do the following words and phrase refer to?

1. its               (line 5)       _______________________________________

2. them              (line 30)      _______________________________________

3. This              (line 46)      _______________________________________

4. they              (line 48)      _______________________________________

5. both              (line 55)      _______________________________________


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                                                              ZH2032 English for Life Sciences


SECTION B (10 marks)

Reading Comprehension

Answer all the questions based on the text.

   1. What is the cause of Sydney Harbour oil spill?

    ____________________________________________________________________

   ____________________________________________________________________


2. a) List four major sources of indoor pollution.

    I. _____________________
   II. _____________________
  III. _____________________
  IV. _____________________


   b) Why do these sources contribute to indoor pollution?

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

Questions 3-4

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and circle the BEST answer.

3. In the first paragraph, the writer argues that pollution

      A.   has increased since the eighties.
      B.   is at its worst in industrialised countries.
      C.   results from poor relations between nations.
      D.   is caused by human self-interest.

4. In the third paragraph, the writer suggests that

      A.   people should avoid working in cities.
      B.   Americans spend too little time outdoors.
      C.   hazardous gases are concentrated in industrial suburbs
      D.   there are several ways to avoid city pollution.



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   Complete the table below with relevant information regarding the cause and
   effect relationship.


     No.                    Causes                                     Effects
                                                    __________________________
     5.     Industrialized nations use a lot of     __________________________
            energy
                                                    __________________________

            ____________________
     6.     ____________________
                                                    People demand an explanation
            ____________________


     7.     __________________________
            __________________________ The focus of pollution moves to home
            __________________________

                                                    __________________________
     8.     People fear pollutants in tap water     __________________________
                                                    __________________________

                                                    __________________________
     9.     Overcrowded classrooms with poor        __________________________
            ventilation systems
                                                    __________________________




 10. What is the writer’s belief regarding the dangers of pollution?


 _______________________________________________________________________

 _______________________________________________________________________



DON’T FORGET TO SEND IT VIA EMAIL TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR



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