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Housing and Habitability Essay

Question 1: You are an environmental health inspector asked investigate problems at a local low-income and poorly main apartment complex. There is lead-based paint peeling from the walls, and mold growing on the walls.

Living in a room that has lead-based paint peeling from the walls and mold growing on the walls has certain health complications. The two factors are considered to be the worst indoor air pollutants and its effect can be seen after repeated exposure or soon after exposure. Occupants of an apartment with such conditions are exposed to such risks whether children or old people. Lead-based paint peeling from the walls has a number of health complications to low income family members especially children (Stewart, 2001). Excessive exposure to lead can cause damage to nervous system and the brain making it hard for the victim to have good health. Other main health problems include high blood pressure, headaches, and muscle pain, difficulties during pregnancy and digestive problems. Control of lead-based paint from peeling off the walls is a major challenge for low income earning family living in a poorly maintained apartment. The following measures can be taken to control lead paint health problems;

·         Cleaning up paint chips once they peel off.

·         Washing children’s hands more frequently and items they play with such as toys.

·         Planting grass to cover soil with high levels of lead

·         Cleaning painted surfaces weekly and rinsing the cleaning tools thoroughly.

·         Keeping children from chewing painted surfaces

Molds are other major health hazards as they are invisible organisms that grow on walls under suitable conditions such as light, water and air. Health problems associated with molds include breathing problems, asthma, and irritation of skin, eyes, sneezing, nausea, headache and fatigue. Control of molds requires the application of simple measures such as opening the windows to let fresh air flow inside the building (Strang, 2003). With enough sunlight and clean air, humidity inside the rooms is decreased hence eliminating growth of molds.

Question 2: One of your goals is to protect the health of swimmers at a local recreational pool. Discuss two methods that have been used to treat swimming pool water, ozonation and chlorination.

The health of swimmers is usually at risk as the water is in most cases contaminated. There are two commonly used methods to treat swimming pool water such as ozonation and chlorination. Any swimmer has high chances of contaminating swimming pool through sweat, urine, mucous, skin flaks or hair ointments. These contaminants can be treated through the use of ozonation which proves to be the most beneficial and advanced method of treating swimming pool water (Ball, 2006). Ozonation works by injecting ozone on the filter then coagulant is added. Once filtration is done chlorine product is added as a residual concentration.

Once the chlorine mixes with ozone, the level of chlorine reduces making the process one of the best treatment method. The ozone reduces large molecules into small molecules which are easily decomposed by the filter. Ozonation has a number of benefits which include increase in the quality of swimming water as the level of chlorine is reduced. Another benefit is oxidization of organic and inorganic matter without formation of by-products and clearing away of chlorine scent which might have some health problems. Chlorination is another method used to treat swimming pool water whereby chlorine is used as a disinfectant.

 Routine chlorination is used to kill harmful microorganisms which act as health threat. Chlorine reacts with organics and produces nitrogen trichloride and chloramines which are dangerous chemicals. As disinfectant, chlorine prevents the growth of bacteria or algae making the swimming pool water safe. Ozonation is the best method of treating swimming pool water compared to chlorination. Ozone is used as a purification agent while chlorine is used as a disinfectant (Goldstein, Martin, 2002). This means that there are no harmful by products produced through ozonation while chlorine produces dangerous chemicals which are harmful to swimmers.


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