Environmental Public Health Quiz

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Enviornmental Health

How much do you know about environmental health?

Can your environment make you sick? You may immediately think of illnesses caused by exposure to harmful substances like lead or carbon monoxide. But have you considered environmental health threats like food-borne illnesses or loud noises? When you think about it, harmful exposures anywhere in your environment might affect your health. So how do we define “environment”?

Your environment is everything around you — the air you breathe, the water you drink, the community you live in, the places where your food is grown or prepared, your workplace, and your home. When your environment is safe and healthy, you are more likely to stay healthy. But hazardous substances or dangerous events in your environment can cause harmful health effects. Environmental public health is about protecting populations—families, communities, cities, states, nations and tribes—from environmental threats to their health, safety, and well-being.

At NCEH and ATSDR, “environmental public health” is what we do. But not everyone knows all the ways the environment can affect your health. How much do you know about environmental public health? Take the short quiz below to find out.

  1. Yes or No:  To protect customers in food establishments, all state food codes follow FDA’s rules prohibiting food workers from working while sick.
Hearing loss
  1. Which of these loud noises can cause hearing loss over time or from close proximity?
    1. Firecrackers
    2. Sporting events
    3. Motorcycles
    4. All of the above
    5. None of the above
  1. Yes/No: When you lose power during a storm, if you’re using a gas generator, you must set it up outside.
  2. Which of the following statements is false?
    1. No level of lead is safe. Exposure to even low levels of lead can affect a child’s growth and development.
    2. Lead-based paint and dust in the home environment continue to be the predominant sources for lead exposure in children
    3. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body.
    4. Effects of lead exposure can be corrected.
  3. What is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States?
    1. Lead
    2. Asbestos
    3. Cleaning products
    4. Radon

Environmental Public Health Quiz Answers

  1. No. Not all state and local food codes include FDA’s sick worker rules. In fact, 19 states have not adopted these rules. And some food workers work while sick even when their states or localities do have those rules. Indeed, in the past year, 20% of food workers say they worked at least one shift with vomiting or diarrhea.For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/activities/food.html
  2. D. All of the above.
    • Hearing loss can result from a single loud sound (like firecrackers) near your ear.
    • More often, hearing loss can result over time from damage caused by repeated exposures to loud sounds.
    • Sometimes hearing loss is temporary, but it can become permanent when vital parts of the ear have been damaged beyond repair.
    • Loud noise is particularly harmful to the inner ear (cochlea) where it can damage hair cells and membranes.
    • Listening to loud noise for a long time can overwork hair cells in the ear, which can cause these cells to die, resulting in permanent hearing loss.

    For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/

  1. Yes. Portable back-up generators produce the poison gas carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, colorless gas that kills without warning. It claims the lives of hundreds of people every year and makes thousands more ill. Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open. Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/co/
  2. Answer: D. Effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected. That’s why the goal is to prevent lead exposure to children before they are harmed. The most important step parents, doctors, and others can take is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs. Lead hazards in a child’s environment must be identified and controlled or removed safely.For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/
  3. The answer is D—radon. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates radon to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
    • Radon is a gas you cannot smell, taste, or see.
    • Radon forms when naturally-occurring radioactive elements (like uranium and radium) break down in rocks, soil and groundwater.
    • People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes through cracks and gaps in buildings and homes.

    For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/radon/

Tweet this: “How much do you know about environmental health? Take our short quiz and learn some interesting information that you can put to practical use. https://bit.ly/33xXHM3 CDCEHblog via @CDCEnvironment”

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Page last reviewed: December 7, 2020
Page last updated: December 7, 2020