PUBHLTH 305: The Environment and Human Health


PUBHLTH 305, Winter semester, 4 credits (Syllabus)

Description: Public Health 305 will introduce you to the major issues of environmental health science with a focus on the United States, though global health issues are considered as well. We will examine what those issues are, what determines them, and how they can be altered. As a survey of the many facets of environmental health, the course provides a broad overview for anyone who wants an introduction to the field. The course is also good grounding if you decide to pursue additional coursework in environmental health.

Course Objectives:

After taking the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the historical, current, and future need for environmental health science as a field of study, from a scientific, practical, and personal perspective.
  • Explain what environmental health is, what distinguishes it from the other health sciences, and what unique contributions it has to make to the health of the public.
  • Identify chemical and physical hazards in a range of common environments and describe the pathways by which humans are exposed to chemical and physical agents.
  • Identify ways in which the public health hierarchy of controls can be applied to reduce or eliminate a variety of environmental and occupational hazards.
  • Recognize adverse health effects associated with common environmental and occupational stressors.
  • Explain the how core principles in toxicology (e.g., toxicokinetics, dose-response) pertain to the environmental health sciences.
  • Identify risk assessment approaches to integrate sources, exposure pathways, and adverse health outcomes.
  • Identify the principal environmental determinants of health and describe the major environmental health issues of the present time.
  • Identify environmental health issues specific to sensitive and vulnerable populations, including environmental health in a global setting.
  • Find and apply information (e.g., policies, databases) relevant to the environmental health sciences.
  • Describe important emerging and future issues in environmental health.