Threat on Public Health
THREAT ON PUBLIC HEALTH 8
Threaton Public Health
Threaton Public Health
Inthe United States, waste water treatment plants process more than 34billion gallons of water every single day. Waste water treatmentplants are utilized by a majority of households and businesses inAmerica. Waste water treatment plants removes contaminants whichrange from phosphorous and nitrogen from solid human waste, somedetergents and soaps and also food. Some water treatment plants aremore effective at removing the phosphorous and nitrogen than otherplants as a result of the type of the equipment which they use andthe way in which they treat their wastewater. Therefore, theupgrading of equipment from time to time is crucial to enhancing thequality of water from water plants. Water pollution can be regardedas water bodies contamination by either physical, chemicalpathogenic microbes or radioactive elements(EPA,2015).
Alterationof water quality could adversely lead to illness and deaths of over50 million people worldwide according to Michael Hogan. Waterpollution does not only affect human life but also poses a danger tothe entire ecosystem. This includes: species which depend on waterfor survival as well as the reduction of biodiversity. While it isbelieved that natural causes are the leading cause of watercontamination, this is not the actual case. This is because naturalwater pollution elements constitute a minute fraction of the totalwater pollution cases reported. Therefore, most of water pollutantsare caused by human intervention. Some common forms of chemical waterpollutants include: mercury from mining endeavors, nitrogen andphosphorous from agricultural activities. Physical water pollutantsare as a result of large particles or factors such as temperaturechanges which can cause adverse effects on water. Other forms ofphysical pollution include the presence of rubbish dumped in waterbodies such as bottles and plastic bags in water. Radioactivepollution represents the smallest fraction of water related pollutioncases but its effects can lead to the most devastating effects.Radioactive contamination can be caused by the presence phosphatefertilizers used in tobacco farming. Finally, pathogenic microbes canbe an element of water pollution in water bodies. The microbes areusually present in fecal matter including that of humans and is knownto be resistant to some sewage water treatment processes (Hogan,2014).Water pollution can also be cause by well-water contamination fromfossil fuels.
Accordingto an article by Kevin Begos, at least four states in the U.S havereceived hundreds of complains in regard to gas and oil drillingactivities. The four states include: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas andWest Virginia. The author established that 398 complains were filedin Pennsylvania in 2013. The complains alleged that oil and gasactivities were affecting private water wells (Begos,2014).In a similar incident, the residents of Santa Monica had to shut downthe Charnock wells as a result of water contamination with Methyltert-Butyl Ether (MTBE). MTBE is an element associated with gasleakage and a phenomena common in regions with mineralactivities(SantaMonica Council , 2015).In a study on water contamination conducted by the EnvironmentProtection Agency (EPA), there are more than 202 unregulatedchemicals in 45 states in the U.S. The three year research involvedan analysis of over 20 million taps around the country. The study wasaimed at looking at the quality of water on American household taps.The study established that there were a total of 316 contaminants inwater. These ranged from weed killers, rocket fuel componentsperchlorate, industrial solvents and refrigerants in water between2009 and 2004. The EPA added that it might include a list of anadditional 104 chemicals that were found present in tap water. Theseproducts range from commercial chemicals, pesticides, disinfectionbyproducts and pharmaceutical products(Luntz,2009).
September9/11 will be a day forever etched in America’s memories. This was aday that America was almost brought down to its knees by theterrorist. The world trade center as well as the pentagon which arethe symbols of U.S democracy, liberation and might was both hit byairplanes hijacked by terrorist. As a result, over 3,000 U.S men andwomen lost their lives as well as thousands who were severely injuredor maimed. These activities led to the legislation of the Americanpatriot act, which allowed authorities to perform four crucial roles.First, the act allowed investigators to use all the tools at theirdisposal to investigate drug trafficking and organized crime. Second,it allowed the sharing and cooperation of security agencies in aneffort to combat terrorism. Third, the act updated the law to involvenew technology and threats and finally, it increased the penaltiesfor those involved in terrorist activities. The Department ofHomeland security establishment was first proposed in January 2001.However as a response to the September 11 attacks the process of itscreation was expedited after the attack. The Department of HomelandSecurity primary responsibility is to protect the U.S and itsterritories from as well as response to terrorist attacks, naturaldisasters and man-made incidents. The Department of Homeland Securityhas the third largest budget in the U.S after the Department ofDefense and Veteran Affairs respectively. It is said that historyrepeats itself but I believe that this notion is not correct becauseit is human beings who never learns from their own mistake. Theevents of September 11 injected a new way of thinking andimplementing the security apparatus of the country by putting up newmeasures which would prevent an occurrence of another 9/11. Forexample, the formation of the Department of Homeland Security ensuredthat all security agencies shared information as opposed to workingas single independent bodies.
TimothyMcVeigh was a U.S citizen who served in the army in 1988 during thedesert storm operation. A few years later he was discharged from thearmy. McVeigh become famous in 1995 after the bombing of Alfred PMurrah Government building in Oklahoma City which killed 168 peopleand left another 680 people injured. Both veterans seem to have noremorse and have resentment against the U.S government for reasonsbest known to themselves. Therefore, such people represent a seriousthreat to the community because they do anything to justify theircause. Secondly, just like McVeigh, the local veteran seems willingto recruit other people to aid his terrorist mission. This means thatthe two gentlemen are not just operating on their own and that for aterrorist mission to be successful there always have to beconspirators in the mix. Finally, the two gentlemen are on a revengeexpedition, aimed at hurting the U.S citizens in the name ofjustifying their protests against the U.S foreign policy.Unfortunately, the local population ends up getting hurt while theU.S government was the intended target. It is also crucial to reportthat the two men have served in the military and have adequateknowledge on how to use firearms, weapons and explosives to harmother people. Their experience should also not be limited to firearmsbut also other elements such as biochemical which can equally causeharm to the residents.
Transnationalorganized crime (TOC) refers to organized crime that is organizedacross country borders by either a group of people or a network ofindividuals residing in more than one county who wish to wish toperpetrate crime on a given country. Since the attacks on September11, terrorist organizations have changed their strategy as they nowoperate both within and outside the U.S. Such groups present aserious challenge to the U.S security agencies since they be utilizedby people such as McVeigh to carry out terrorist activities. Suchgroups have adequate funding as well as access to chemicals andelements that could be used to pollute water resources. Such groupscan have networks with Arab nations which produce oil and chemicalfertilizers as their by product. These nations are U.S enemies andthey include: Iraq, Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Disgruntled veteransmight use their experience and networks in other nations to acquireand ship in weapons or chemicals which can be used to launch anattack on public health facilities such as Centervale’s watertreatment plant.
Oneof the primary functions of the Department of Homeland Securityincludes protecting the U.S citizens within the U.S and itsterritories. After the September 11 attacks, the U.S governmentpassed the patriot act which enhanced better security structures forthe U.S government. One of the mandates of the act allowed, securityauthorities to tap and record information on suspected terroristsuspects in an attempt to avoid terrorist related activities.Therefore, in order to avert a possible terrorist attack, thesecurities agencies have to track down all contacts that the localveteran is involved in. This is because form our past observation,terrorists always have accomplices and it is possible that anassociate with the veteran might be a possible conspirator in aterrorist mission. In addition, all conversations made on eitherlandline or cellphones should be tapped and the contacts should beinvestigated. Finally, the security agencies should collaborate andwork together in facilitating better investigations on the veteranspast records in regards to availing the necessary information(TheUSA PATRIOT Act: Preserving Life and Liberty , 2011).
TheDepartment of Homeland Security is also accountable for taking chargein situations such as national calamities or disasters such ashurricanes, floods and other acts of God. The Federal EmergencyManagement Agency (FEMA) is arm of the Department of HomelandSecurity that is in charge of disaster management. In the plan,prepare and mitigate measure I would recommend that the followingsteps are taken to address an attack on public health. First, I wouldensure that public health facilities are accessible to people whohave the relevant authorization. This would be ensured through theuse of identification cards to all the employees.
Inaddition, in order to ensure that trespassers are caught surveillancecameras will be monitoring such public facilities on a 24 hoursbasis. Proper plans have to be in place in case a public healthcaredisaster takes place. For instance, enough hospitals should have thecapacity to handle cases of such a magnitude. Moreover, drills insuch hospitals need to be conducted in order to adequately preparethem for such emergencies (TheDisaster Process & Disaster Aid Programs, 2015).
TheUSA PATRIOT Act: Preserving Life and Liberty .(2011). Retrieved February 21, 2015, from The Department of Justice:http://www.justice.gov/archive/ll/highlights.htm
TheDisaster Process & Disaster Aid Programs.(2015). Retrieved February 23, 2015, from FEMA:https://www.fema.gov/disaster-process-disaster-aid-programs
Begos,k. (2014, January 5). 4states confirm water pollution from drilling.Retrieved February 23, 2015, from USA Today:http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/05/some-states-confirm-water-pollution-from-drilling/4328859/
EPA.(2015, February 3). TheSources and Solutions: Wastewater.Retrieved February 22, 2015, from EPA:http://www2.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/sources-and-solutions-wastewater
Hogan,M. C. (2014, November 17). WaterPollution.Retrieved February 23, 2015, from The Encyclopedia of Earth:http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/156920/
Luntz,T. (2009, December 14). U.S.Drinking Water Widely Contaminated .Retrieved February 24, 2014, from Scientific American:http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tap-drinking-water-contaminants-pollutants/
SantaMonica Council . (2015). SantaMonica Water Treatment Plant.Retrieved February 22, 2015, from Santa Monica Water Treatment Plant:http://www.smgov.net/santamonicawatertreatmentplant.aspx