ⓘ Environmental medicine. Not to be confused with Clinical ecology sometimes also called environmental medicine. Environmental medicine is a multidisciplinary fie ..

                                     

ⓘ Environmental medicine

Not to be confused with Clinical ecology sometimes also called "environmental medicine".

Environmental medicine is a multidisciplinary field involving medicine, environmental science, chemistry and others, overlapping with environmental pathology. It may be viewed as the medical branch of the broader field of environmental health. The scope of this field involves studying the interactions between environment and human health, and the role of the environment in causing or mediating disease. This specialist field of study holds the basic assumption that health is more widely and dramatically affected by environmental toxins than previously recognized.

Environmental factors in the causation of environmental diseases can be classified into:

  • Safety
  • Ergonomic
  • Any combination of the above
  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Social including Psychological and Culture variables

In the United States, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine OCOEM oversees board certification of physicians in environmental and occupational medicine. This board certification isnt recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

                                     

1. Current focuses of environmental medicine

While environmental medicine is a broad field, some of the currently prominent issues include:

  • The effects of nuclear accidents or the effects of a terrorist dirty bomb attack and the resulting effects of radioactive material and radiation on humans.
  • The effects of ozone depletion and the resulting increase in UV radiation on humans with regards to skin cancer.
  • Radon gas exposure in individuals homes.
  • Indoor air quality
  • The effects of chemicals on humans, such as dioxin, especially with regards to developmental effects and cancer.
  • Food poisoning
  • Water-borne diseases
  • Mercury poisoning and exposure to humans though including fish and sea life in their diet.
  • Air and water pollution on the health of individuals.
  • Lead poisoning from leaded gasoline, paint, and plumbing.

According to recent estimates about 5 to 10% of disease adjusted life years DALY lost are due to environmental causes. By far the most important factor is fine particulate matter pollution in urban air.

                                     

2. Scope of environmental medicine

Environmental medicine is concerned primarily with prevention. Food-borne infections or infections that are water-borne e.g. cholera and gastroenteritis caused by norovirus or campylobacteria are typical concerns of environmental medicine, but some opinions in the fields of microbiology hold that the viruses, bacteria and fungi that they study are not within the scope of environmental medicine if the spread of infection is directly from human to human. Much of epidemiology, which studies patterns of disease and injury, is not within the scope of environmental medicine, but e.g. air pollution epidemiology is a highly active branch of environmental health and environmental medicine. Any disease with a large genetic component usually falls outside the scope of environmental medicine, but in diseases like asthma or allergies both environmental and genetic approaches are needed.

                                     

3. Military "environmental medicine"

The U.S. Army has, since at least 1961, used the term "environmental medicine" in a sense different from the above. Its U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, at Natick, Massachusetts, conducts basic and applied research to determine how exposure to extreme heat, severe cold, high terrestrial altitude, military occupational tasks, physical training, deployment operations, and nutritional factors affect the health and performance of military personnel. Research on the effect of environmental pollutants on military personnel is not part of USARIEMs mission, but is within the purview of the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

                                     
  • The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine JOEM is a monthly peer - reviewed medical journal published by Lippincott Williams Wilkins on
  • Occupational and Environmental Medicine is a monthly peer - reviewed medical journal which covers research in occupational and environmental medicine It is published
  • Medicine in 1930 by Louis H. Bauer, M.D., and is published monthly by the Aerospace Medical Association. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine is
  • Research Institute of Environmental Medicine USARIEM is the U.S Army s main institution and facility for military environmental medicine and exercise physiology
  • The Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is a peer - reviewed open - access medical journal published on behalf of the Indian Association
  • The American Academy of Environmental Medicine AAEM founded in 1965 as the Society for Clinical Ecology, is an international association of physicians
  • American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine ACOEM is a United States - based professional society for health care professionals in the
  • The Institute of Environmental Medicine IEM is partner of Paris 8 University, of IMASSA French Army s Institute of Aerospace Medicine and of Architecture
  • Occupational Medicine IOM Occupational Medicine Specialists of Canada Faculty of Occupational Medicine American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine is a bimonthly peer - reviewed open access medical journal covering preventive medicine and environmental health
  • are: environmental science environmental and occupational medicine toxicology and epidemiology. Other terms referring to or concerning environmental health