Environmental Health

Richard D. Newcomb, Richard J. Vetter and Clayton T. Cowl

in Mayo Clinic Preventive Medicine and Public Health Board Review

Published on behalf of © Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199743018
Published online June 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199929603 | DOI:

Series: Mayo Clinic Scientific Press

Environmental Health

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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
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Environmental medicine is the broad discipline that focuses on environmental factors that cause or influence disease. These factors typically are components of 4 major categories: air, water, soil, and food. Often, an environmental toxin or agent may have numerous means by which it causes disease, such as a toxin primarily soil bound that is aerosolized as dust or is made soluble and then infiltrates water and plants. The primary role of the clinician in environmental medicine is as a resource and risk communicator for patients. In circumstances where a patient has adverse health effects, the clinician's role is to determine how likely it is that an environmental toxin has contributed to the patient's symptoms or an underlying disease. When a hazard is recognized, the clinician helps control and reduce exposure, as well as treats any illness when effective treatment options are available.

Chapter.  13360 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Public Health

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