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Issue 22

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Environmental Risk Assessment

By Kizzy Alfred

TriIssue 22 p16 Smlnidad and Tobago are the two most southerly islands in the Caribbean. The republic lies just northeast and 19 kilometres from the South American country – Venezuela (TT Connect, 2013). Trinidad was once part of the South American mainland (Central Statistical Office, 2013) and it is situated on that continental shelf (TT Connect, 2013). Consequently, Trinidad and Tobago has similar climate, flora and fauna to that of Venezuela (Central Statistical Office, 2013), and has a high species diversity to surface area ratio for its size, which makes it unique to the Caribbean (Convention of Biological Diversity, 2002). Coupled with the fact that Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory to the Rio Convention in 1992 and Rio +20 in 2012, serious emphasis should be placed on protecting our environment.

One logical approach to protecting the environment is through legislation – by passing, implementing and enforcing laws that safeguard this precious commodity. Environmental laws have been implemented in many countries with great effect (European Environmental Agency, 1998). Health and Safety Executive (2013) states that “risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm.” Risk assessment and management has been used for many years in other disciplines such as health but have more recently been introduced to the environmental field (European Environmental Agency, 1998). The United Kingdom’s Environmental Protection Act 1990 describes the environment as consisting of “all, or any, of the following media, namely the air, water and land” (Legislation.gov.uk 2013). According to the Royal Society of Chemistry (2008), environmental risk assessment “covers the risk to all ecosystems, including humans, exposed via, or impacted via, these media. The term environmental risk assessment does not normally cover the risks to individuals or the general public from consumer products or from exposure in the work place, where other specific legislation applies.” This research paper thus, would highlight and critically assess the provisions for environmental risk assessment to deal with hazards in Trinidad and Tobago.

Occupational Hygiene

By John Hart BSc (Hons., UK)
Occupational Consultant
IHMAS Industrial hygiene Systems and Services

Occupational Hygiene (or Industrial Hygiene, as it is called in some countries) has been defined as “the Science of Anticipating, Recognizing, Evaluating, and Controlling workplace conditions that may cause workers injuries or illnesses.” (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S.A.) Some definitions refer to this field as both “art and a science”, acknowledging the additional skills needed for the successful practice of this profession.

The Toxicological Effects Of Air Pollutants

A Literature Review

By Leo Knights MSc., BSc., Graduate Member IOSH Health,
Safety and Environment Professional - Petrotrin

Preserving the health of workers has proven to be a worldwide challenge in the work environment. The World Health Organisation, in establishing its global mandate, has determined that the philosophy of occupational health is to seek, promote and maintain the highest quality of physical, mental and social well-being amongst workers in all occupations (International labour Organisation, 2000).

Collective initiative on a global scale, though the implementation of Health and Safety Legislations, Codes of Practice and Approved Standards, have all led to improvements in the area of Industrial Hygiene. Regardless of these notable successes, workers employed in high-risk occupations are yet vulnerable to varied occupational diseases, which certainly continue to engage the interest of the scientific community.

Stored within the annals of scientific literature are many studies that have attempted to provide a true interpretation regarding the toxicological and epidemiological effects associated with the discernible myriad of air pollutants. Many issues relating to the synergistic characteristics of some chemicals; the extent to which increased pulmonary ventilation impacts on dose- response relationship and, the factors which influence the migration of chemicals across the blood gas barrier, have remained unresolved.

The wide cross section of empirical studies examined in this literature review, will be critically evaluated with a view to ascertain whether there is possible correlation between exposure to air pollutants and human pathology.

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