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Environmental Health Assessment - Case Study Example

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There are many sources of harmful chemicals that continue to penetrate the environment and cause untold suffering to its inhabitants. The farming inputs that we use to produce crops have been found to contain some of the most dangerous chemicals. The vehicles we use while going around our daily activities also causes harm to mankind by releasing harmful and poisonous gases into the environment…
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Environmental Health Assessment

Download file to see previous pages... In Kenya for example, we have the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA). The authority is charged with many tasks of managing the environment from destruction, key among them harmonizing a range of environmental management activities that is conducted by other lead agencies. Among other functions, it is also charged with promoting the incorporation of ecological deliberations into development strategies, projects, and programmes, with an oversight of ensuring rational utilization and proper management of environmental wealth on a sustainable yield basis (NEMA, 2008).
To start up a project in Kenya, managers must apply to NEMA so that an environmental risk and health assessment can be undertaken. These procedures are usually done to identify an alternative project that harms the environment and health of citizens less. The assessments are also carried out in order to come up with mitigation procedures that can be used to reimburse for possible health and environmental impacts (Turnbull, 1991). In Kenya, NEMA reserves the final say of allowing industries to use the Kenyan environment to conduct their business. It licenses them after the assessment is done and the industries or projects are given a clean bill of health in environmental preservation. When projects flout the rules and start degrading the environment, NEMA can automatically revoke the license and the firm will cease to operate (NEMA, 2008).

Kenya Utility Poles Ltd
Due to high demand of electricity poles from Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), the main power distributor in Kenya, a consortium of investors from the United States has come up with a plan to build a multi-billion industry that will ease the demand for electricity poles. KPLC has been sourcing majority of its utility poles from neighboring Tanzania, thus using up a huge chunk of its revenue on utility poles. To KPLC, the investors' idea of starting up an industry that will mass produce utility poles at the heart of Nairobi, the capital city, is good news. But this is not well received by NEMA, the authority charged with managing the environment.

After the investors presented their proposals to NEMA for consideration, it was realized that the company was intending to use Pentachlorophenol (PCP) chemical for poles preservation. Pentachlorophenol, hereafter known as PCP is mainly used as a restricted pesticide in farming activities. But it is also an effective wood preservative used mainly in wharf pilings, railroad tiers, and utility poles. When individuals are exposed to the chemical at high levels, various counterproductive health as well as ecological issues arises (What is pentachlorophenol, 2008). This is what is making NEMA to sound the alarm bell.

The chemicals contained in PCP causes many health complications. They are known to damage the liver as well as weaken the immune system of victims. This will have direct health ramifications for workers of the proposed industry as well as those living in the vicinity. The chemicals are also known to raise the body temperatures and cause developmental defects to those who are exposed. Ecologically, PCP was found to be highly toxic to warm and cold fishes and all the other ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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