ENVM 647 Practice Test

ENVM 647 Practice Test

Environmental health science is concerned with agent, host, and environmental factors in disease (the epidemiologic triangle). What statement below is true about the triangle? (5-E-2)

A) Agent factors can include particles, toxic chemicals, and pesticides.

B) The environment is the domain in which disease-causing agents may exist.

C) The host is the person who affords lodgment of an infectious agent.

D) All of the above are true.

2. Which of the following is an interpretation of the Delaney Clause? (7-FS-2)

A) Toxic chemicals are not permitted in food in any amounts

B) Carcinogenic chemicals are not permitted in food in any amounts.

C) The Food Additives Amendment allows low levels of substances that cause cancer in animals but not in human beings.

D) The primary responsibility for safety of food additives rests with the local boards of health.

3. Risk management refers to the question of  (6-RA-2)

A) What is the relationship between dose and occurrence of health effects in humans?

B) What exposures are currently experienced or anticipated under different conditions?

C) What is the estimated occurrence of the adverse effect in a given population

D) None of the above.

4. Exposure assessment refers to the question of:     (6-RA-2)

A) What are the health effects that this agent can cause

B) What is the relationship between dose and occurrence of health effects in humans

C) What exposures are currently experienced or anticipated under different conditions

D) What is the estimated occurrence of the adverse effect in a given population

E) None of the above.

5.The EPA hierarchy for solid waste management consists of _________________.


source reduction


all of the above

6. The type of epidemiology study in which study individuals, free of the disease to be studied, but exposed to a particular hazard, are followed into the future to see if they develop the disease of concern is known as a _______________.  (6-E-3)

retrospective cohort study

case-control study

prospective cohort study

None of the above

7. The definition of a “simple asphyxiant” gas is one that is:

chemically active in the body and binds to key enzymes causing toxicity

physiologically inert and not toxic itself, but can cause anoxia by replacing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere

has the ability to complex with oxygen causing hypoxia in the body

reactive with cells in the lungs to prevent exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide

8.Underground mine workers sometimes encounter carbon monoxide and die due to:

damage of liver cells preventing the metabolism of nutrients and build-up of toxins within the body

replacement of oxygen in the mine air from a normal 21% concentration to less than 10%, resulting in hypoxia and death of cells of the central nervous system

binding of the CO to hemoglobin reducing the blood’s ability to transport oxygen around the body, causing hypoxia

interaction of CO with nitrogen to produce carboxy nitrate, which is a potent neurotoxin of the central nervous system

9.  One of the reasons for the methodology of hazard analysis of critical control points is that health hazards stemming from foods:

Health hazards can be introduced at any point from harvest to consumption.

Chemical additives are the most dangerous food-associated health hazards at present.

Poor canning practices cause the greatest number of food-related intoxications.

None of the above

10.  The official term used by the EPA to denote abandoned industrial and commercial waste sites, polluted by hazardous substances, is:


Pollutant Hazard Sites

Designated Waste Sites

Toxic Hazard Sites

11. From the global perspective, the three geophysical forms of the human environment consist of the:

lithosphere, ground water and surface water

atmosphere, stratosphere and hydrosphere

atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere

ocean, sea, and river

12. The number of cases of a disease in a population of 100,000 at a specific point in time represents the __________________ of the disease.

mortality rate



relative rate

13. The toxic effects of environmental lead are primarily related to:

The use of organic lead in gasoline to increase engine power and reduce knocking from the gasoline

Widespread use of lead-based paints in the past.

Lead bullets used in wars and police actions

A and B

14. The main difference between the sick building syndrome (SBS) and building-related illness (BRI) is that:  (4-A-2)

SBS can be related to specific pollutants and BRI cannot.

SBS is temporary and BRI is a diagnosable illness.

BRI can be related to specific pollutants and SBS cannot

B and C

15.Greenhouse gases represent:

Gases emitted by various green plants that are grown in buildings that are constructed of glass so solar energy can penetrate and help regulate the inside temperature so it remains constant in cold or warm outside weather.

Various gases present in the indoor air that can cause a greenish discoloration of the wood.

The gases that are emitted from green molds that grow in some residences, especially in damp basements.

Gases emitted by natural events and human activities that are capable of migration into the upper atmosphere where they reflect infrared radiation back toward the earth, thus warming up the earth.

16. The half-life of a radioisotope can be defined as

The time for 1/2 of the atoms in a quantity of a radionuclide to disintegrate

The time required for an alpha or beta particle to reach 1/2 its distance in air

The time needed for 1/2 of a radioisotope to explode in a nuclear weapon

The time needed for ½ of an alpha radiation dose to penetrate a millimeter of tissue.

17. Even though the death rate of both More Developed Countries (MDCs) and Less Developed Countries (LDCs) (excluding China) has decreased by about 70% in the last 250 years, the overall increase in population growth is substantially greater in the LDCs. This is primarily due to:

Higher birth rates in More Developed Countries

Higher birth rates in Less Developed Countries.

Better nutrition in the More Developed Countries.

Increased warfare in the Less Developed Countries.

18. The concentration and toxicity of a chemical in the body are affected by:  (6-T-2)

Route of entry into the body

Received dose of the chemical

Duration of exposure

All of the above

19.  A highly fatal disease of the central nervous system, that is normally transmitted through an animal bite, is known as ___________________.


Q Fever



20. Assume that you work as the Environmental Health Manager at the Western Connecticut Conservation Program and a Field Agent comes to you with the following concern. An unusual number of the field surveyors have reported in sick at the field station, suffering from severe headaches, fever, swollen lymph glands and especially muscle and joint pains. Most of the sick persons had an unusual reddish skin rash that seemed to be circular in appearance with a clear inner area, although there were individual differences in the location of the rash on the body. The Field Agent suspects West Nile Virus and seeks your confirmation and advise. Could the illness be caused by something else? If so, what do you think is the likely cause of the condition and what can be done to prevent the disease from occurring in other field surveyors and agents? If you would issue an alert to the staff, what preventative measures would it include?  (3-B-4)

21. State three global factors that have contributed to the development of emerging (future) infectious diseases. Give one example of an emerging disease and another example of a re-emerging (from the past to the future) disease.  (3-B-5)

22. Assume that you are called into a staff meeting to describe the basic engineering and environmental monitoring requirements needed in the design of a new landfill.  (4-HW-2)

23. Describe a type of ecosystem retrogression.

24. Explain the differences among synergism, antagonism, and potentiation.

25.  Give an example of a major zoonotic disease and discuss the causative agent, environmental reservoir, and how it is transmitted.

26.  What is LCA (Life Cy..)?  How is it applied in a company?  (6-RA-3)

27.  What is an environmental management plan?  What is the international standard for environmental management plans?  (6-EM-2)

28.  What is the difference between absorption and adsorption in environmental control?  (4-A-5)

29.  Why does small particle size matter in environmental pollution?  Hint: look at deposition in the respiratory system  (4-A-3)

30.  Excess hydrogen sulfide gas is leaking from a sewer.  What kind of specific filtered personal respiratory protection mask is used for those who must enter the sewer?  Hint: is it gas, solid or liquid pollution?

31.  The CEO for your company asks that you brief the Executive Board on nonionizing radiation hazards. You are expected to cover the major sources of nonionizing radiation including 1) the potential for exposures (industrial, sun, medical, etc.), 2) possible body organs that might be affected and 3) the resultant health effects that can result with excess exposure. What key facts would you present?   (3-R-2)

32. What is the difference between retrospective and prospective cohort studies?

33. Define the greenhouse effect and the gases that are designated as greenhouse gases.

34. Define the LD50.  Where is this cited or used?

35. The local supermarket is considering changing to paper bags from plastic.  What environmental arguments would you make for the change?  Be brief.

36. Victoria, British Columbia pumps over 100 million liters of raw sewage into the ocean per day.  In 2012, it decided to build a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). On one side, critics point to the fact that the wastewater plume is dispersed and diluted widely and is environmentally sufficient.  On the other side, a panel of scientists concluded that relying on dilution was not a long-term solution.  Take a side and argue it in 5 sentences or less.

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