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When I went to college, there was no such thing as Environmental Health!!

August 24th, 2012 at 11:40 am

I knew in 5th grade I wanted to help the environment and ended up with a college degree in civil engineering. That degree was the closest thing to environmental engineering at the time. In fact, environmental engineering was simply 'Drinking Water Treatment' or 'Wastewater Treatment' back then.

Some years later I did graduate work in Hazardous Materials. It was round about the time of Superfund and the course work was more a study of the rule and what technologies were being used to clean up waste and prevent spills, etc. Not exactly theoretically based science.

In the short 20 years since there has been a proliferation of environmental college majors! In fact, there are MANY specialized subjects and I wouldn't know where to start if I was a freshman.

Just a couple weeks ago I got an email from the state air resources agency on a seminar called 'We Are What We Eat and Breathe, and Build Preventing chronic diseases and protecting the environment by building healthy communities'. OK, somewhat beauracratic in title, but I saved it to view later.

HOO BOY, I watched it today and is it smart. The presenter is highly qualified of course, a doctor turned professor who is superb at seeing the big picture between health and suburban environment.

"When a large part of the population contract the same diseases (eg diabetes, overweight) it is not the result of personal lifestyle choices, it is the result of the environment they live in."

What impresses is the scientific data to back up "Driving makes you sick" and many many other example issues.

Do you think this is all common sense? But how can change be brought about in the everyday decisions about road building, bike riding, and even soda drinking?!

Here is the video, it's long but even the first 10 minutes are worthy!!
Air Resources Board Chair Lecture Series

If anyone watches, post some of your quotes below. I wish I would've been an Environmental Health major!!!!

1 Responses to “When I went to college, there was no such thing as Environmental Health!!”

  1. patientsaver Says:

    I was unable to view the video but I downloaded the powerpoint and went thru the whole thing.

    I started out thinking no, obesity is due to lifestyle choices people make, not the environment, although that being said, the food choices most people have today make it difficult to stay in shape. By the time i finished reading the powerpoint, I really understood what the author was saying, and I loved the message.

    Do you think this is all common sense? But how can change be brought about in the everyday decisions about road building, bike riding, and even soda drinking?!

    It doesn't really matter to me whether it's common sense or not, since if it is, most people still aren't getting the message! I think the whole point of this presentation is that government must get involved in re-thinking things like transportation and housing to help people make the right choices. In the meantime, people need to look for ways to incorporate a healthy dose of daily exercise into their routines and just say no to the soda!

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