There are several kinds of environmental health & safety employment, including environmental health & safety specialist jobs, environmental health & safety technician jobs and occupational health & safety technician jobs. Technicians work under supervision of a specialist, who then analyzes the data gathered.
In relation to this, there is much speculation concerning the impact of dioxins, endocrine disruptors, global warming, nitrates, pesticides and radiation. There are some long standing myths that those who are intending to enter into the field of environmental health & safety jobs should be aware of. These are environmental scare stories that have been reported in an unbalanced manner, making them economically and psychologically detrimental. These scare stories are sometimes used to influence government regulations and frequently result in economic harm and lack of prioritization with little or no benefits:
Myth 1: Synthetic pesticides should be banned as they cause more harm than benefit.
Reality: The harm from the use of synthetic pesticides is balanced by the benefits which include enabling better nutrition, health and environmental protection. There has been an increase in the production and consumption of fruits and vegetables, and so far there is no more effective replacement for synthetic pesticides they will remain in use.
Myth 2: Chemicals known to be endocrine disruptors are supposedly able to ''bend'' genes.
Reality: There is scientific evidence refuting this idea, but it has been under reported by the media.
Myth 3: Dietary nitrates from agricultural fertilizer run-off cause cancer and blue baby syndrome, which can actually be prevented by good hygiene.
Reality: There is no such threat from dietary nitrates. Again this has been blown out of proportion by the media.
Myth 4: Costly measures to prevent low doses of radiation are needed.
Reality: Natural radiation levels are higher and do not cause any human health problems. These measures ultimately result in unnecessary expenditures and only waste limited resources.
Myth 5: Dioxin poisoning causes cancer, immune and reproductive defects.
Reality: Fears about dioxin poisoning are unjustified since there is no epidemiological evidence to support this.
Myth 6: Global warming is the sole cause of vector borne diseases spreading to new regions and worsen malaria in regions where it is endemic. Therefore, if you eliminate global warming then vector borne diseases like malaria will be eliminated.
Reality: Malaria and vector borne diseases are complex and it is unlikely that global warming is the only cause of these diseases. It is possible and more important to prioritize eliminating malaria without first eliminating global warming.
Myth 7: Human mortality from heat waves caused by global warming will increase.
Reality: The total human mortality from heat waves is not likely to increase in the near future and cold weather has caused far more deaths than hot weather. The effect of warm weather is generally more beneficial for most of the world in the short to medium term.
Myth 8: It is best to follow the precautionary principle with regards to the use of chemical resources.
Reality: The general fear of chemicals in modern society is reflected in the precautionary principle, which in fact could increase instead of reduce risk since it does not direct sufficient amounts of scarce resources to solve the most serious problems.
There is currently a growing availability for environmental health & safety jobs. Governments are increasingly relying on science for making decisions concerning essential services and resources, however, political correctness has pushed decision-making towards the wrong direction. There are many government regulations that are based on these environmental health myths that are leading society astray and in the process, worsening impending environmental and health risks. The new generation of workers who will be employed in environmental health & safety jobs must take note of these.
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