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Water and human health
Water is a natural resource that is vital for human survival and health, although only...
Water is a natural resource that is vital for human survival and health, although only a tiny fraction of the Earth's supply is available to humans and terrestrial animals. In this unit we look at threats, such as pollution, to water's capacity to support life around the world.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- define and use in context, or recognise definitions and applications of, each of the terms printed in bold in the text;
- identify some of the reasons why clean, fresh water is an increasingly scarce resource for many people in the world;
- explain what is meant by the bioaccumulation of xenobiotic chemicals and identify the implications that this has for what people can safely eat;
- distinguish between the effects on human health of high and low levels of environmental pollution by nitrogen compounds;
- explain what is meant by an endocrine disruptor.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Water as a global resource
- 2 The global water cycle
- 3 The distribution of water and its use by people
- 4 Chemical pollution of water
- 4.1 Levels of toxic substances
- 4.2 DDT: a classic case in ecotoxicology
- 4.3 Mercury
- 4.4 Nitrogen: a developing threat to health
- 4.5 Endocrine disruptors
- 4.6 Postscript to Section 4
- 5 Unit summary
- 6 Self-assessment questions
Water and human health
This unit examines why water shortages are predicted as a result of the world's growing population and the importance of access to clean and safe drinking water in public health. It looks at the distribution of water throughout the world and problems with contamination, topics of wide general interest.