Professor and class,
Environmental health is looking at the “physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person” (Nies & McEwen, p.252) that plays an role in shaping how agencies develop ways to reduce the potentially harmful effects of chemicals in the air, water, soil and food. I didn’t know that the average air quality in Chicago has been 50%-96% moderate within the last 3 years according to the EPA Air Quality Index (AQI), Chicago is currently at 74%. A moderate level of air quality means it is “acceptable”, but not good for a small number of people that “are sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.” (“Air Quality Index Basics”, 2019) Further breakdown of Chicagoland air pollution linked to cancer risk for zipcode 60608 revealed Onroad sources such as cars, trucks, buses and Secondary sources such as “ambient concentration of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein as major contributors to toxic air pollution. (“My Environment”, 2014)
Knowing the level of pollution and identifying their sources would be something of interest as a community nurse. I would also start identifying at risk populations such as kids, elderly, and those with known heart and lung diseases. The findings would be communicated to local schools, pharmacys, community centers and clinics. I would also include opportunities for education in schools and senior centers to help them understand the dangers of repeated exposure to toxic air. I would pay special attention to known patients with respiratory illness as they would be the most sensitive to the air quality and I would make sure there are ways to get the necessary agencies involved to check to make sure factories and major contributors are operating to the appropriate standards.
Air Quality Index Basics. (2019, June 18). Retrieved from https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibasics.aqi#underaqi (Links to an external site.)
My Environment. (2014). Retrieved from https://www3.epa.gov/myem/envmap/myenv.html?minx=-87.70461&miny=41.81438&maxx=-87.62261&maxy=41.89638&ve=11,41.85538,-87.66361&pText=60608, Chicago, Illinois&pTheme=home
Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2019). Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier.