Environmental health sciences can be defined as the evaluation, evaluation and control of chemical, physical and biological hazards in order to protect public health. The sanitation revolution began in the late nineteenth century when it was determined that basic environmental sanitation and hygiene were essential to the prevention of infectious disease. Disposal of sewage and monitoring of water quality were essential to prevent diseases such as cholera.
Today, environmental health science is concerned with more global issues due to population expansion. Such cases are: pandemic influenza and West Nile virus. Also, global warming and ozone layer depletion are probably the two most important, yet most controversial, global environmental health issues today. The environmental health scientist must be well prepared to assess such controversial issues, as their ramifications affect public health.
With globalization and huge advances in technology, an environmental health scientist must have extensive knowledge of health sciences, not just wastewater disposal and water quality control. An advanced degree in Public Health (MPH) provides the necessary general background as well as knowledge of specific environmental health sciences.
Environmental health scientists must also be prepared to work in a team environment with scientists and other health professionals. Solving problems will require a team effort with: doctors, nurses, attorneys, engineers, epidemiologists, law enforcement, and city/county/state/government officials. It is not acceptable to have technical knowledge, one must have extensive knowledge of related subjects.
The following topics will provide basic knowledge of public health as well as knowledge of specific environmental health sciences:
Environmental Toxicology, Public Health and Policy, Epidemiology, Statistics, Global Infectious Diseases, Public Health Infrastructure, Air/Water/Land Pollution Fundamentals.