Occupational and Environmental Health

The Occupational and Environmental Health course will focus on the interaction between humans and the environment, including workplace environment, and how this interaction affects the health of individuals and communities.

The course includes an overview of the physical, chemical and biological hazards found in the environment and the health risks associated with workplace and community exposure to them. Major global environmental and occupational health issues, and specific issues in Palestine, will be discussed, as well as the approaches taken to address them, and the challenges that must be overcome to ensure success in dealing with them. This is a 3 credit hour course, with no prerequisite courses.

The objectives of this course are:

  1. To introduce key definitions, concepts and epidemiologic tools used in environmental and occupational health.
  2. To describe main agents of occupational and environmental disease.
  3. To discuss the link between population health and the physical, biological and chemical environment both at the workplace and at the general environment.
  4. To discuss ethical dilemmas of relevance to the field of occupational and environmental health and disease.
  5. To present main controversies within the field with emphasis on climate change and global warming.
  6. To describe the role of key national and international agencies and public policies for occupational and environmental health and disease.

By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  1. Explain main concepts and definitions used within the field of occupational and environmental health.
  2. Describe and utilize basic epidemiologic tools in assessing burden of environmental disease.
  3. Identify main sources of environmental and occupational hazards,the ways in which humans are exposed to them and the major human health effects from exposure to these hazards.
  4. Explain the link between main physical, biological and chemical agents within the environment and population health with focus on water and air quality, food safety, waste management, occupational health, injuries and degradation of natural resources.
  5. Describe and discuss main ethical dilemmas with focus on balancing population growth, consumerism and conservation of a healthy environment.
  6. Explain main controversies within the field of environmental health with emphasis on debates related to climate change and global warming.
  7. Provide examples of national and international agencies and policies regulating environment health.
  8. Discuss strategies for decreasing the burden of diseases caused by occupational and environmental risks factors.
  9. Analyse the nature of environmental and occupational health problems in broader context through systematic research using scientific literature, press sources, and consultations with key persons, organizations, and agencies.
  10. Discuss local history,community demographics, cultural, political, and administrative issues, and their impact on environmental or occupational health issues and solutions.

The course will be delivered through a combination of learning strategies. These will include:

  • PowerPoint lectures and active classroom based discussions.
  • Case examples, discussions and demonstrations.
  • Classroom group work and presentations.
  • Periodic assignments.
  • Videos.
  • Presentations by guest lecturers.