Human beings may be the dominant form of life on Earth today, but our health, well-being, and, indeed, survival are dependent on the health and integrity of the environment in which we live. Anne Nadakavukaren explores and clarifies this web of interdependency and interrelationships with uncommon insight into the functioning of the natural environment and the impact of human activities. She provides a comprehensive, up-to-date survey of the major environmental issues facing the world today within a dual framework of ecological concerns combined with specific issues of personal and community health.
With the same clear, compelling writing that has made this a perennial favorite among students and faculty alike, the author imparts to readers a sense of how today's environmental issues directly affect their own lives. Moreover, Our Global Environment provides the information and understanding they need to participate in the decision-making processes that will influence health and environmental quality in the decades ahead. Abundant illustrations and photos throughout the book illuminate the discussion, while boxed inserts contain timely, illustrative examples of the more general concepts discussed in the chapters.
Part I. PEOPLE, PROGRESS, AND NATURE: Is Conflict Inevitable?
1. Introduction to Ecological Principles
Ecosystems / Biotic Community / Ecological Dominants / Biomes / Ecological Niches / Limiting Factors / Limits of Tolerance / Energy Flow through the Biosphere / Biogeochemical Cycling / Change in Ecosystems 2. Population Dynamics Population Attributes / Population Growth Forms / Homeostatic Controls / Human Population Growth / Population Explosion / Urbanization / Population Projections
3. Population Control
Early Attempts at Family Limitation / Modern Family-Planning Movement / Birth Control-Its Health Impact / Contraceptive Safety / Family Planning in the Third World / Population Policy: Moving Beyond Birth Control 4. The People-Food Predicament
Factors Influencing Food Demand / Extent of Hunger / Causes of Hunger / Health Impact of Hunger / Prospects for Reducing World Hunger
5. Impacts of Growth on Ecosystems
Degradation of Land Resources / Loss of Biodiversity
Part II. OUR TOXIC ENVIRONMENT: Does Everything Cause Cancer?
6. Environmental Disease
Mutation / Birth Defects / Cancer
7. Toxic Substances
Testing for Toxicity / Assessing Health Risk / Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) / Dioxin (TCDD) / Asbestos / Lead / Mercury
8. Pests and Pesticides
What Is a Pest? / Problems Caused by Pests / Pest Control / Environmental Impact of Pesticide Use / Hazards to Human Health / Alternatives to Chemical Pest Control
9. Food Quality
Food Contaminants / Food Additives / Foodborne Disease / Preventing Foodborne Disease
Ionizing Radiation / Ultraviolet Radiation / Microwaves / Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)
Part III. ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION: How We Foul Our Own Nest
11. The Atmosphere
Composition of the Atmosphere / Human Impact on the Earth-Atmosphere System / Rising Levels of Atmospheric CO2-Moving toward a Warmer World? / Impacts of Global Warming / The Greenhouse Policy Debate 12. Air Pollution Sources of Air Pollution / Impact of Air Pollution on Human Health / Pollution Control Efforts-The Clean Air Act / Global Air Quality Trends / Acid Deposition / Indoor Air Pollution
13. Noise Pollution
Sources of Noise / Noise as a Nuisance / Nature of Sound / Noise and Hearing Loss / Other Effects of Noise / Noise Control Efforts
14. Water Resources
Hydrologic Cycle / Water Quantity and Health / Water Supply: Our Next Crisis? / Groundwater / Water Management: Increasing Supply versus Reducing Demand
15. Water Pollution
Controlling Water Pollution: The Clean Water Act / Sources of Water Pollution / Municipal Sewage Treatment / New Approaches to Wastewater Treatment / Septic Systems / Industrial Discharges / Water Pollution and Health / Looking Ahead 16. Solid and Hazardous Wastes
Waste Disposal-A Brief History / Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) / Current Waste Disposal Alternatives / Hazardous Wastes / Hazardous Waste Management Legislation: RCRA
Appendix A: Environmental Agencies of the Federal Government
Appendix B: Environmental Organizations