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Environmental Public Health Collection – Free Online Resource

WGBH Boston has put together a collection of environmental public health resources. More than 4000 topics are available in their free online library with more than sixty environmental health resources organized into easy-to-use lessons.

Each lesson contains a video or an interactive program, a background essay, three or four discussion questions, and links for further study.

The collection is organized under five areas:

  • Conditions and Diseases examines effects on humans that are or may be the result of environmental agent exposure, such as chemicals in umbilical cord blood, farm nitrates in the water supply, and mapping coal contaminants.
  • Exposures and Risk looks at factors that make populations more vulnerable to conditions resulting from environmental agents, such as childhood lead poisoning, mercury, pcv and dioxins, and factory farms and organic farms.
  • Research Methods shows examples of people using critical thinking and the scientific method to narrow possibilities. In this section, they have the classic cholera outbreak in 1850s London as well as current ongoing investigations, such as those into malformed frogs.
  • Community Action relates instances of people who spoke up and worked their way through the system to promote environmental justice in their communities.
  • Health Policy looks at government programs and regulations relating to environmental health.

Each resource is denoted by the grade level it’s aimed at. There are resources for every age, from pre-K through twelfth grade. After registering (free), the site will display the relevant public school standards for your state.

The Environmental Public Health Collection is organized with teachers in mind, but it’s open to anyone. It can serve as an introduction or a refresher on a variety of topics.

For more school curriculum ideas, see the OrganWise Guys (for pre-school and elementary school children) and Nourish from the Center for EcoLiteracy (for middle school children).

Image of Ngwenya Mine by Heather Dowd, used with Creative Commons license.