case study of Disaster Recovery and Environmental Health

The case study narrative implies that the client's specific health problem is related to the surroundings of the old building in which she works. The health issues are undoubtedly the result of environmental variables prevalent in the workplace where she works. Several details from the client's statement aided in obtaining the conclusive conclusion that the disease is the result of a dangerous job environment. For example, her respiratory disease has a longer history than her employment history. Prior to start working in the old building the client had no history of respiratory illness. The kind of illness may emerge commonly from the use of tobacco products ( Institute of Medicine and Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, 2015). Apparently, the client’s illness is not due to consumption of tobacco products either because she never uses any tobacco product of any form. Any relation to seasonal variation cannot be established because it is not triggered by changes in seasons and occurs several times throughout the year. More seemingly, one common pattern of the illness may be evident from client’s statement, “We all share illnesses which seem to affect everyone else during the year, we just seem to be sicker more often!” clearly, the illness is contagious and attack everyone works in that building if one is attacked; the process repeats several times throughout the year.

Many factors present in the building environment may contribute to the chronic illness starting from the dust to air flow. Of them, the most probabilistic theory may be the “sick building syndrome”. The sick building sickness refers to the bad health condition or sickness that a person can experience when living or staying in a particular house (Stolwijk, 1991). The apparent reason for sick building syndrome is unknown because many reasons may be involved. Of these reasons ventilation, heating, air flow pattern, poor air quality, improper exhaust, adjacent environment and neighborhood are responsible (Shahzad, Brennan, Theodossopoulos, Hughes, & Calautit, 2016). The frequency and symptoms are more common in case of old workplace building because several psychosocial factors interact simultaneously to develop the sickness among employees. These factors include work pay rate, administration, stress, level of satisfaction, poor personal relationship, cultural environment, overall communication and the prevalence of a healthy work environment (Bauer, et al., 1992).

The risk that the client runs into is high; she can develop permanent respiratory problem or may fell victim into chronic heart disease or cardiovascular complications. Furthermore, she may continue to experience poor health condition and unwell psychological condition due to chronic exposure to the unfavorable environment.

The exposure pathway for the client may be viewed as follows:

Table 1: Exposure Pathway for the Client


Source Area

Transport Mechanics

Exposure Route


Environment at the old building workplace

The old building workplace


Stress trigger,

Psychological factors,



High blood pressure,

Mental agony


The best workable solution that can be recommended to the client is to leave the job to remain away from the exposure to the old building environment. However, if that is not possible, the client needs to raise awareness among her coworkers and convince the employer to improve the environmental and psychological factors that might be held accountable for the condition. In some cases, they can force the management to rent another office place for better environment.

Like every community, my community is not free from environmental hazards. Of many environmental risks, air pollution, water pollution, poor waste management. Of many environmental hazards that pose large risk on the community health, factors related to the air and water pollution are significant.


Institute of Medicine and Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. (2015). Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products. Institute of Medicine .

Bauer, R. M., Greve, K., Besch, E. L., Schramke, C. J., Crouch, J., Hicks, A., & Lyles, W. B. (1992). The role of psychological factors in the report of building-related symptoms in sick building syndrome. ournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 213-219.

Shahzad, S. S., Brennan, J., Theodossopoulos, D., Hughes, B., & Calautit, J. K. (2016). Building-Related Symptoms, Energy, and Thermal Control in the Workplace: Personal and Open Plan Offices. Sustainability, 331.

Stolwijk, J. A. (1991). Sick-building syndrome. Environmental Health Perspective, 99-100.

Unit 7 Discussion Topic 2: Role of the Leader of the Emergency Response Team

The long term environmental impact after the hurricane Hanna has stricken many states and left thousands of causalities. These will include outbreak of air and water borne diseases, poor agricultural development, wastage of resources and costing thousands of dollars of budget. The restoration will take many days, many people will go below poverty lane and the number of homeless people will increase dramatically. Ecological damages will also be long lasting (Moment of science, 2006).

The coordination among the community people will be the key determinant of how well and how quick the organization will be able to recover from the disaster. The community can coordinate among individual efforts, create small teams to recover highly important establishment as well as in building homes for homeless.

In order to keep strategically align, the debriefing and communication among community members is highly essential. The community leader needs to develop a cohesive strategy to increase the magnitude of the effort by establishing local teams and creating a comprehensive means of communication and accountability. They can make use of latest technology and management approach to create such an environment easy and secure communication.

During the recovery phase, providing healthcare to community people is highly essential. To facilitate such a healthcare system, a comprehensive and coordinated effort is essential. The community people should create few groups of paramedics who will roam around the afflicted areas and provide basic healthcare to needy people. The paramedics will follow up every patient and help them learn basic healthcare techniques in order to enable them treat themselves and neighboring people during emergency. The community should arrange for free medical services for people under distress and provide them medical assistance until they recover. Furthermore, the community needs to redesign its structure for creating a group of supervisor and monetary team whose function will be to report any health problem or issues to the proper authority to mitigate any hazardous risks.


Moment of science. (2006, December 31). Hurricane Damage That Lasts. Retrieved from Moment of science:

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