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Case Study Topics
Many of the information sources under the other tabs in this guide will be useful for your case studies. It is highly recommended that you start by searching for articles using the databases listed on the "Find Articles & More" tab of this guide.
Below are some additional, specific resources.
Solid Waste & Pollution
A relational database that integrates data from many different EPA databases. Subjects covered include Air, Chemicals, Facility Information, Grants/Funding, Hazardous Waste, Risk Management Plans, Superfund, Toxic Releases, and Water Permits, Drinking Water, Drinking Water Contaminant Occurrence, and Drinking Water Microbial and Disinfection Byproduct Information.
Disposal-Facility-Based Characterization of Solid Waste in California
CalRecycle contracted with Cascadia Consulting Group to characterize and quantify the
statewide disposed waste stream in 2014. This report presents the findings of the 2014 Statewide Waste Characterization Study.
The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics
Publication Date: 20144
The twentieth century witnessed an era of unprecedented, large-scale, anthropogenic changes to the natural environment. Understanding how environmental factors directly and indirectly affect the emergence and spread of infectious disease has assumed global importance for life on this planet. "The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics" is the summary of a workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Microbial Threats in September 2013 to explore the scientific and policy implications of the impacts of global environmental change on infectious disease emergence, establishment, and spread. The report considers a range of approaches to improve global readiness and capacity for surveillance, detection, and response to emerging microbial threats to plant, animal, and human health in the face of ongoing global environmental change.
Learning from Failures
Publication Date: 2014
Learning from Failures provides techniques to explore the root causes of specific disasters and how we can learn from them. It focuses on a number of well-known case studies, including: the Chernobyl disaster; the NASA Space Shuttle Columbia accident; the Bhopal disaster. This book discusses the value in applying different models as mental maps to analyze disasters. The analysis of these case studies helps to demonstrate how subjectivity that relies on opinions of experts can be turned into modeling approaches that can ensure repeatability and consistency of results. Explores the root cause of disasters and various preventative measures Links theory with practice in regard to risk, safety, and reliability analyses Uses analytical techniques originating from reliability analysis of equipment failures, multiple criteria decision making, and artificial intelligence domains
Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice
Publication Date: 2011
The widespread but virtually invisible problem of pesticide drift has fueled grassroots activism from Maine to Hawaii. In this book, Jill Lindsey Harrison considers political conflicts over pesticide drift in California, using them to illuminate the broader problem and its potential solutions. The fact that pesticide pollution and illnesses associated with it disproportionately affect the poor and the powerless raises questions of environmental justice (and political injustice). Despite California's impressive record of environmental protection, massive pesticide regulatory apparatus, and booming organic farming industry, pesticide-related accidents and illnesses continue unabated. To unpack this conundrum, Harrison examines the conceptions of justice that increasingly shape environmental politics and finds that California's agricultural industry, regulators, and pesticide drift activists hold different, and conflicting, notions of what justice looks like. Drawing on her own extensive ethnographic research as well as in-depth interviews with regulators, activists, scientists, and public health practitioners, Harrison examines the ways industry, regulatory agencies, and different kinds of activists address pesticide drift, connecting their efforts to communitarian and libertarian conceptions of justice.
A community guide to recognizing & reporting pesticide problems (California Dept. of Pesticide Regulation)
The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has prepared this booklet to give people easy-to-understand information about how DPR and the County Agricultural Commissioners control pesticide use in California. We explain how to get help in emergencies and how to resolve pesticide use complaints and concerns. The guide also tells you how to find information on pesticide use in your area and the health effects of specific pesticides.
Public health goal for arsenic in drinking water
In developing the PHG for arsenic, OEHHA conducted an exhaustive analysis of available scientific studies on the health effects of arsenic. The PHG of 4 ppt for arsenic in drinking water is based upon lung and bladder cancer in studies of hundreds of thousands of people in communities in Taiwan, Chile, and Argentina associated with arsenic-contaminated drinking water. Exposure to the PHG level in drinking water results in a risk of less than one additional case of these forms of cancer in a population of one million people drinking two liters daily of the water for 70 years. While the PHG is based primarily on data from cancer studies, no other adverse health effects are expected to arise from arsenic at the level of the PHG.
Enviro-Health Links - Arsenic and Human Health
Information on laws/regulations, associations, specific aspects of arsenic and health, and more. Also includes pre-formulated searches in PubMed
and other databases on arsenic health effects topics.
California GAMA Special Study : Nitrate Fate and Transport in the Salinas Valley
Irrigated row crops such as lettuce and strawberries dominate both land use and water use in the [Salinas] valley. The most common water quality issue that arises from this type of intensive agriculture is contamination of groundwater by nitrate from fertilizers. This study focuses on three key aspects of nitrate fate and transport in the Salinas Valley groundwater basin: 1) establishing background conditions for nitrate in a comparatively un‐impacted portion of the basin, 2) examining the fate and transport of nitrate near the recharging Salinas River, and 3) determining the source of nitrate in a highly impacted drinking water well.
Nitrogen in the Environment
Publication Date: 2008
Nitrogen is one of the most critical elements for all life forms. In agricultural systems it is essential for the production of crops for feed, food, and fiber. The ever-increasing world population requires increasing use of nitrogen in agriculture to supply human needs for dietary protein. Worldwide demand for nitrogen will increase as a direct response to increasing population. Nitrogen in the Environment provides a wholistic perspective and comprehensive treatment of nitrogen. The scope of this book is diverse covering a range of topics and issues related to furthering our understanding of nitrogen in the environment at farm and national levels. Issues of nitrogen from its effects on crops and human nutrition to nitrogen in ground water, watersheds, streams, rivers, and coastal marine environments are discussed to provide a broad view of the problem and support scientists, researchers, and engineers in formulating comprehensive solutions. * The only source which presents an international, wholistic perspective of the effects of nitrogen in the environment with worldwide mitigation practices * Provides details on how to improve the quality of the environment by analyzing the development of emerging technologies * Develops strategies to be used by soil scientists, agronomists, hydrologists, and geophysicists for broad scale improvement of nitrogen efficiency
Applied Groundwater Studies in Africa
Publication Date: 2008
Groundwater is Africa's most precious natural resource, providing reliable water supplies for many people. Further development of groundwater resources is fundamental to increasing access to safe water across the continent to meet coverage targets and reduce poverty. Despite these obvious needs, however, little attention has been paid to the systematic gathering of information about groundwater resources in the past few decades, with the result that data are patchy, knowledge is limited and investment is poorly targeted. This book was written by a combination of practitioners and researchers mainly from within Africa using experience from recent and ongoing projects. Chapters range from strategic discussions of the role of groundwater in development and poverty reduction, to case studies on techniques used to develop groundwater, and modelling methods for managing groundwater systems.
Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria
Publication Date: 2015
Omolade Adunbi investigates the myths behind competing claims to oil wealth in Nigeria's Niger Delta. Looking at ownership of natural resources, oil extraction practices, government control over oil resources, and discourse about oil, Adunbi shows how symbolic claims have created an "oil citizenship." He explores the ways NGOs, militant groups, and community organizers invoke an ancestral promise to defend land disputes, justify disruptive actions, or organize against oil corporations. Policies to control the abundant resources have increased contestations over wealth, transformed the relationship of people to their environment, and produced unique forms of power, governance, and belonging.
Health effects of Central Valley particulate matter (2015)
The objective of this work was to better elucidate the toxic and inflammatory potential of urban and rural PM from the Central Valley on a suite of pulmonary, vascular and systemic endpoints in a mouse model. The results demonstrate (1) that the method of extraction of PM from the filter or impactor substrate has a substantial effect on the health effects elicited and the dose-response relationship; (2) some of the
endpoints, especially the pulmonary ones, responded acutely to the PM, at 1 or 2 days post administration while other endpoints, especially systemic ones, responded at longer lag times. The results have implications for design of future research studies, and help to explain some of the inconsistencies noted in previously published research.
Flux measurements of biogenic precursors to ozone and particulate matter in the central valley (2011)
The Central Valley of California is out of compliance with current air quality standards for ozone and particulate matter (PM). Ozone and PM air quality model simulations focused on the Central Valley are critical for State Implementation Plan development for ozone and particulate matter (PM). Model simulations are sensitive to emission sources, deposition/sinks, chemical reactions, and meteorology. Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) participate in ozone and PM formation, and comprise a substantial fraction of ARB VOC emission inventories. Also, as regulatory controls are extended to agriculture, there is a renewed focus on crop biogenic emissions as well as ozone deposition to crops.
Comparative standards for intensive livestock operations in Canada, Mexico and the United States
Livestock farming has been transformed in the past twenty years from a business
dominated by relatively small producers to one dominated by large facilities raising
thousands of animals. A side effect of this development has been a new set of
environmental concerns unique to this industry. While regulation of livestock agriculture
has historically been a state/provincial and local matter, governments from the local to
the federal level have found themselves grappling with the issues created by these new,
concentrated facilities. This Report surveys the current environmental requirements for
“intensive livestock operations” (ILOs) in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The
Report draws conclusions about current regulatory regimes and makes recommendations
on the management of environmental issues associated with ILOs.
Emission inventories of particulate matter, ammonia, greenhouse gases, and VOCs from cattle feedlots: annual report
The objectives of this proposed research are to: 1) Measure the emission rates/fluxes of particulate matter (PM), selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and GHGs from open-lot cattle feedlots in Kansas and 2) Characterize the chemical nature of particulate matter emitted from commercial cattle feedlots.
Downwind: a people's history of the nuclear West
Publication Date: 2014
Downwind is an unflinching tale of the atomic West that reveals the intentional disregard for human and animal life through nuclear testing by the federal government and uranium extraction by mining corporations during and after the Cold War. nbsp; Sarah Alisabeth Fox highlights the personal cost of nuclear testing and uranium extraction in the American West through extensive interviews with “downwinders,” the Native American and non-Native residents of the Great Basin region affected by nuclear environmental contamination and nuclear-testing fallout. These downwinders tell tales of communities ravaged by cancer epidemics, farmers and ranchers economically ruined by massive crop and animal deaths, and Native miners working in dangerous conditions without proper safety equipment so that the government could surreptitiously study the effects of radiation on humans. In chilling detail Downwind brings to light the stories and concerns of these groups whose voices have been silenced and marginalized for decades in the name of “patriotism” and “national security.” With the renewed boom in mining in the American West, Fox’s look at this hidden history, unearthed from years of field interviews, archival research, and epidemiological studies, is a must-read for every American concerned about the fate of our western lands and communities.
Wastelanding: legacies of uranium mining in Navajo country
Publication Date: 2015
"Wastelanding "tells the history of the uranium industry on Navajo land in the U.S. Southwest, asking why certain landscapes and the peoples who inhabit them come to be targeted for disproportionate exposure to environmental harm. Uranium mines and mills on the Navajo Nation land have long supplied U.S. nuclear weapons and energy programs. By 1942, mines on the reservation were the main source of uranium for the top-secret Manhattan Project. Today, the Navajo Nation is home to more than a thousand abandoned uranium sites. Radiation-related diseases are endemic, claiming the health and lives of former miners and nonminers alike. Traci Brynne Voyles argues that the presence of uranium mining on Dine (Navajo) land constitutes a clear case of environmental racism. Looking at discursive constructions of landscapes, she explores how environmental racism develops over time. For Voyles, the wasteland, where toxic materials are excavated, exploited, and dumped, is both a racial and a spatial signifier that renders an environment and the bodies that inhabit it pollutable. Because environmental inequality is inherent in the way industrialism operates, the wasteland is the other through which modern industrialism is established. In examining the history of wastelanding in Navajo country, Voyles provides an environmental justice history of uranium mining, revealing how just as civilization has been defined on and through savagery, environmental privilege is produced by portraying other landscapes as marginal, worthless, and pollutable."
Levels of human exposure to harmful substances
The Levels of Human Exposure to Harmful Substances indicator presents the concentrations of select environmental chemicals in the Canadian population. The indicator includes cadmium, lead and mercury in blood.
Northern Contaminants Program (Canada)
Working to reduce and, wherever possible, eliminate contaminants in traditionally harvested foods, while providing information that assists informed decision making by individuals and communities in their food use.
The Amazon Rush Gold and Environmental Mercury Contamination
Publication Date: 2009
The importance of the Amazon area to sustain the global equilibrium in the environment has been recognised world-wide. Gold has been exploited intensively in the Brazilian Amazon during the past 30 years using garimpo methods (small-scale gold mining), where the elemental mercury (Hg) used in amalgamating the gold, the final stage of the ore dressing process, has caused abnormal Hg concentrations in waterways. This has occurred in several areas of the Amazon region. It is necessary a better understanding of the Hg behaviour in tropical aquatic systems, mainly close to the most populated areas, as people may be still suffering toxicological consequences of the Hg releases in the past. The knowledge of the mercury occurring in the aquatic system of the Madeira River basin is a great concern by local/international authorities and environmentalists, since it can contribute for identifying the effects of the anthropogenic Hg inputs relatively to the background reference levels expressing the natural Hg concentration.