EESA1015W Assignment 2 Marking scheme

Human Health and Environment

Reference dose refers to the level at which the concentration a chemical can cause adverse effects on people’s health. On the other hand, cancer slope factor denotes the estimation of cancer risks related to an exposure to carcinogenic substance (Sand, Portier & Krewski, 2011). Risk assessors use a reference dose to quantify non-carcinogenic toxicity because, there is need to compare the exposure levels over a specific period of time (Subramaniam, White, & Cogliano, 2006). On the other hand, cancer slope factor is used to quantify carcinogen factors because it can convert the daily intakes that are averaged over the lifetime of an exposure directly linked to the incremental risk associated with an individual seen to develop cancer.  With regard to carcinogens, the risk factors are normally viewed in terms of incremental probability associated with individuals suffering from cancer due to exposure to carcinogens. Further, it is assumed that small quantities of molecular events tends to evoke some changes in one cell and contributes to cellular proliferation and the eventual development of cancer. Cancer slope factor is also essential for quantifying carcinogen factors because the human carcinogen can be identified. The slope factor also adopts a model that is ideal for lower exposures that is normally occurring between human contact and the environment. Also, the cancer slope factor is ideal when it comes to deriving, for instance, risk specific dose (Subramaniam, White, & Cogliano, 2006).

2. Externalities needs to be included in the cost of production especially when an externality is directly associated with a particular good or product.  This helps to establish environment conscious firms where cost of protecting environment is included in the production. For instance, a company producing toxic chemical needs to include the costs of managing waste products as part of the production cost. This is because; it is during production process that the environment is polluted. As a result, without proper management of toxic waste emanating from a company, it is the people in the surrounding who suffer. In most cases, the negative externalities are only left for the third party to manage; however, the costs incurred as a result of externalities should start from the source. This means that companies to focus on producing for instance, bio degradable products that do not have an adverse effect on the environment (Mariana & Mirela, 2008). As such, there is need for firms to incur more cost in improving their production process that can enhance environmental sustainability. In most cases, companies producing toxic chemicals and packing materials appears to have a greater impact on the environment. The waste products not only degrade the environment, but also affect human health. For example, poor disposal of toxic chemicals from industry is directly associated with the increase of certain health conditions that includes cancer. On the other hand, these toxins when poorly disposed also have a negative effect on the surrounding vegetation and can destroy an entire ecosystem. As such, negative externality such as pollutions needs to be included in the cost of production (Mariana & Mirela, 2008).

 In essence, including negative externalities in the cost of production ensures that firms engage in sound practices that improves environmental sustainability.  In addition, in cases where factories  are the major emitters of air pollution,  such an externality should also be included in the cost of production instead of passing the cost to a third party in terms of incurring health expenses caused by air pollution. In this sense, factories need to incur cost in improve the equipment they use in production as a way of cutting down their carbon emission. For instance, factories using fossil fuels in the production process can shift to renewable energy sources that are environmentally friendly. Consequently, incurring additional cost of production by using green energy, for instance, ensures that firms play a role in promoting environmental sustainability (Dasgupta & Ehrlich, 2013).

Conversely, packaging materials for instance, are a major concern when it comes to wastes that degrade the environment. As such, firms producing plastic materials should include the cost of externalities in its production. Including such costs ensures that a firm produces a product that is biodegradable. In ensuring that cost of negative externalities are passed to the producers, the environmental authorities should implement policies that ensures goods produced by different firms meet the required standards before they reach the market (Dasgupta & Ehrlich, 2013).  In addition, firms need to incur cost in improving the skills of workers who handle products that are environmentally degradable. This is ensures that employees adopt measures that are geared towards reinforcing environmental sustainability. On another note, there are cases where the cost of externalities needs to be passed to the third party such as consumers. This is because; the individuals buying consumable goods have responsibility to adopt proper waste management practices (Hongwei & Jun, 2014).

However, this is not the case as consumers and different households are reluctant to adopt measures that promote environmental sustainability.  As such, the environmental authorities require funds necessary for proper waste management in the landfills or recycling of products. However, the environmental tax should only target products that are environmentally degradable and can cause harm to human health when poorly disposed (Gonzalez, 2014). On the other hand, where externalities are included in the cost of production, it is necessary for firms to include such costs in the price of the final products. This allows firms to afford the extra cost attached to improving the quality of products in a manner that can safeguard the environment and human health respectively. While consumers may feel they are being extorted, there is a benefit in the sense that, using products that are not harmful minimizes costs spent on treating ailments associated with environmental degradable products (Gonzalez, 2014).

3. Minimizing the impact of human on the planet depends on implementation of policies that promotes sustainability for future generations. Such policies need to safeguard the environment, human population, health and improving living standards of people across the globe. It is because of the lack of sound policies by governments across the world that numerous challenges persist.  For example, the lack of sound policies in developing countries has contributed to a number of challenges that include diseases, poverty, illiteracy and increase in population (Skinner, 2014). On the same note, a major problem for developing countries involves dealing with the issue of increase in population. Most developing countries are not in a position to provide efficient services to its citizens because of lack of adequate resources to sustain an ever growing population. As a result, the high population also has an adverse effect on the environment. This is because; population explosion causes strain on the ecosystem and results in the displacement of the natural habitat. In this sense, there is need for policies that control population growth in the developing countries as a way of promoting environmental sustainability for future generations (Skinner, 2014).

Because of population explosion in developing countries, other problems have emerged that include hunger and famine that governments in such countries cannot manage without external assistance. The destruction of the environment as a result of population explosion has also contributed to climatic changes and other natural calamities evident in the developing countries. As such, policy implementation in the developing countries needs to emphasize the need to control population growth to a level that the government can manage to provide adequate and efficient services to its citizens. Some of the public services that population explosion affect includes healthcare, education and proper housing (Macleod, 2013).

Population explosion other than degrading environment also increases the rate of infectious diseases particularly in crowded areas. This is because of lack of proper sanitation in concentrated settlements such as slums. On the same note, this disease contributes to high mortality rate among young children who are the future of the planet earth. Without proper measures to control population growth, it will reach a time where there will be limited resources to support the high population in developing countries. On another note, a higher population means an increase in the demand of resources that include energy fuel, water, food and land for production. For instance, developing countries with a high population face challenges in providing water to its citizens. This is because; encroachment on land as a result of population explosion has contributed to the destruction of important water towers that provide water to the population and other organisms in the ecosystem. In areas where water resources are depleted, the consequences include lack of vegetation, reduction in livestock population and hunger. Further, a high population also results on a high demand on energy fuel for electricity, to power automobiles and machines used in the factories. As such, a high population that uses non-renewable energy sources   contributes to environmental degradation through carbon emissions. In turn, this affects the ozone layer and results in the climate change evident in the developing countries consuming a higher percentage of non-renewable energy sources (Ellis, 2013).

Since the population in the developing countries also relies on wood for cooking, there is an increased destruction of forests. As such, this increases soil erosion that is evident in most of developing countries with high population. With regard to food security, developing countries with a higher population rate faces challenges in terms of ensuring there is adequate food for the entire population. In most cases, food security in developing countries is affected as a result of lack of sound policies to adopt efficient farming practices.  However, implementing such policies is only manageable in situation where the government has adequate resources that can cater for the entire population. In most countries, sustainability is only possible where the government can manage its population in terms of equitable distribution of resources. An increased population also leads to scarcity of land and as a result, contributes to the rise of squatters and overcrowding in different settlements. In essence, minimizing the impact of humans on planet require a control of the population in the developing countries. This is because; developing countries lack adequate resources to support an increase in population. A high population contributes to the depletion of a country’s resources particularly in developing countries where there is lack of proper policies to manage such resources.  As such, in order to save the planet, it is necessary to control the increase in population in the developing countries (Ellis, 2013).

A better way of controlling population explosion in developing countries include implementing policies that advocates for family planning and creating awareness regarding the importance of reducing population increase. On the other hand, while consumption rate of resources in developed countries is high, the effect on the planet is not adverse compared to the impact of population explosion that impacts negatively on the entire ecosystem. In developed countries, sound policies exist that can help to promote efficient management of resources. In addition, technological advancement in developed countries helps in promoting environmental sustainability for future generations. For example, technology available in the developed countries allows the population to shift to renewable sources of energy such as wind power. In addition, technology also ensures that developed countries can recycle products and this help to protect the environment from degradation (Basquill, 2007).

Compared to population increase, it is easier for governments to manage high consumption rate rather than population explosion. This is because, immediate solutions can be generation to solve high consumption while  controlling population increase requires a wide consultation with key stake holders in order to realize success with policies targeting family planning. The efficiency of managing population increase depends on the effort of the policy makers in terms of ensuring that policies targeting population explosion are implemented to the letter.  In developing countries, policies targeting the management of population increases are available; however, because of poor implementation, population increase is still evident.  In essence, it is important for the policy makers to ensure that the policies targeting the reduction of population in developing countries are sustainable (Basquill, 2007).

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