Describe the conditions that might cause a building to be declared as “sick,” and suggest three ways to prevent sick building syndrome.
When occupants experience health problems the said building can be declared as having a sick building syndrome or SBS. But it must be made clear that SBS can only be declared if no specific illness or cause can be identified such as symptoms related to a particular communicable disease. Therefore, the cause of the health problem is directly linked to the building or working in a particular office space. Some of the health problems including but are not limited to acute discomfort such as headaches. Other health issues include eye, nose, or throat irritation. SBS can also be related to dry cough or dry itchy skin. SBS can also be suspected in the case of dizziness, nausea, and sensitivity to odors. SBS is confirmed if the health issues disappear immediately after the complainants leave the building.
To prevent SBS, it is important to have adequate ventilation. The standard calls for 20 cubic feet per minute. But in certain spaces, such as smoking lounges the requirement can go as high as 60 cubic feet per minute. It is also important to monitor indoor air pollution. Office administrators must determine the kind of chemicals that are emitted from adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood products, and cleaning agents because these can release volatile and toxic compounds.
It is also important to determine the quality of outdoor air that enters the office space or the work area. The building administrator must hire experts to pinpoint the existence of poorly located air intake vents and other openings that would enable pollutants to enter confined spaces such as office rooms or hallways. Although it is important to monitor chemical contaminants, the building administrator must also focus on the sources of biological contaminants that may come from stagnant water accumulated in ducts, humidifiers, and drain pans.
What should you do to improve the global environment? What can you do to improve the global environment? What will you do to improve the global environment? Be honest!
I must reduce my carbon footprint. There are so many ways to accomplish this goal. I will turn off the engine of my car and not let it idle longer than necessary. I will adhere to a higher standard of car maintenance because a poorly maintained car uses up more fuel. Besides, a defective car is unable to efficiently burn fuel therefore polluting the environment even further.
I will make it a habit to reuse and recycle items. Although the global environment can be improved through my insignificant contributions, my impact can be greatly enhanced if I learn to communicate the importance of taking care of the environment. Thus, it is also my goal to influence my friends through the use of social media and other forms of communication. One person’s worldview can be changed through a persistent effort and that action can have a multiplier effect.
A friend tells you there is no reason to worry about global climate change. He says today’s earth will be even better with warmer climates. How would you respond?
Global climate change is a dangerous precedent. Change is good but the environment can only function correctly when all the necessary ingredients for life are present at optimum levels. If the amount of carbon dioxide is suddenly present at abnormal levels, then, it can create a negative impact on the environment. Some changes are occurring and their impacts are not yet known. Thus, it is wrong to say that global climate change is not a big deal.
For thousands of years, flora and fauna had maintained an ecological balance that supports life on Earth. Plants bear fruit in season and animals reproduce based on the existence of optimum conditions. Imagine the impact, if suddenly, certain parts of the planet experience continuous rain for many days. Imagine the impact if the winter season is extended for a few weeks. The chain reaction of events can be so frightening. Thus, it is wrong to simply brush these fears aside. Something has to be done to prevent climate change.
What is your current environmental worldview based on what you have learned in this course? How has your environmental worldview changed after taking this course? Include in your discussion: global climate change, ozone depletion, water pollution, renewable energy sources, pest management, and ecological footprint.
The discussion about ozone depletion opened my mind regarding the impact of pollutants in the air. No one could have thought that pest management strategies can have an indirect link to the destruction of certain species of birds. It opened my eyes to the interconnection between living organisms. In other words, a businessman may tend to look at short-goals and immediate gains but failed to consider the long-term impact of his actions. Consider for instance the construction of giant shopping centers. There is a practical reason for building huge structures that require the massive consumption of natural resources and the degradation of the natural environment. The explanation is simple, it is more cost-efficient to bring all the shops and stores together in one place and create a convenient place for people to shop and unwind. But the damage to the environment can be irreparable.
Global climate change is one of the critical topics of discussion in this course. Global climate change is a single force that can alter human existence. It has the power to create famine and degrade the quality of life for everyone. It is a phenomenon that can affect the lives of rich and poor alike. Thus, it is important to take the necessary steps to avert this disaster. One of the practical ways to fight against climate change is the use of renewable energy sources.
Compare and contrast the following terms: renewable energy sources. Include three examples of each type of energy source.
A renewable energy source is usually contrasted with fossil fuel because it is an energy source that is virtually inexhaustible. At the same time, renewable energy sources do not produce significant amounts of pollutants that can harm the environment. There are different types of renewable energy sources. One of which is solar power. As the old saying goes, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it merely changes from one form to the next. In the case of solar power, the energy from the sun is converted into electric power through the use of photovoltaic cells.
Another important source of renewable energy is wind power. Electricity is produced using the principles of electromagnetism. If there is a constant force applied to an electromagnet then the device can convert the energy from that motion into electrical power. In the case of wind energy, the force of the wind turns the blades of wind turbines which in turn can power an electric generator.
The third major source of renewable energy is geothermal energy. There is a tremendous amount of energy stored under the Earth. This heat from thermal energy is a direct result of the radioactive decay of minerals. Instead of using wind energy to move turbines, thermal energy is to boil a working fluid, and when it vaporizes, the energy produced can then be used to turn turbines connected to an electric generator.
Explain how highly developed and developing countries differ in population characteristics such as infant mortality rate, total fertility rate, and age structure.
Developing countries have high birth rates because of the lack of access to information regarding contraceptives. In developing countries, a large family is seen as security from a high infant mortality rate. People in developed countries are no longer anxious about the high infant mortality rate therefore they try to limit the number of children per family. Besides, there are many people in developed countries that know how to use contraceptives.
In developing countries, people see children as an assurance towards the negative impact of old age. The higher the number of children means that there is a good number of workers that can be used to look after the farm and to take care of the elderly. This practice is very much evident in societies that do not have a social welfare system that can take care of the sick and invalid. In developing countries, there are only a few people that can reach old age because of limited access to quality healthcare. In developed countries, many people can reach old age because of quality healthcare and proper nutrition.
Describe the human impact on the atmosphere. Include these topics in your discussion: Ozone depletion, enhanced global warming, and other forms of air pollution.
Human activity is geared towards instant gratification. If a person is hungry, that desire for food must be dealt with in the most cost-efficient manner. After many centuries of existence, mankind developed ways to have readily available food minus the hard work needed to produce them. As a result, human beings developed a destructive and non-sustainable form of agriculture to support fast-food chains and supermarkets that needed to have a regular stock of meat and other food products. All of these things are accomplished in the name of convenience without considering the impact on the environment.
The same thing can be said about meeting other human needs. For example, cars require air-conditioning and refrigerators require refrigerants to keep the food cold and dry. The air-conditioning equipment and the refrigerator require chemicals that harm the environment. But for many decades these things are allowed to happen because the comfort of humans is a top priority. But with the depletion of the ozone layer and global climate change, it is time to reconsider destructive human behavior. Air pollution is just one of the problems that have to be addressed. It is time for a more concerted effort to protect the environment.