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Your textbook does an excellent job of reviewing the significance of the environmental health laws in the United States. Please select at least two examples found in the textbook that you feel are the most important environmental health laws (past or present) and provide an explanation as to why you feel this way. Also, please share your opinion regarding the current effectiveness these laws have on protecting public health, providing specific examples to support your opinion.



                                   CLASSMATE’S POST

The use of environmental health laws in the United States of America are essential to the overall health and well-being of the country’s citizens and the planet.  I believe the two most important health laws listed in the textbook are the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 and the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (Friis, 2012).  First, the Safe Drinking Water Act was created to protect the quality of drinking water in the U.S whether it is actual or potentially a water source, such as tap or underground water (Friis, 2012).  This act allows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set minimum standards for water operations that companies need to abide by (Friis, 2012).  One example of this act being implemented was back in 2016 when the EPA settled a lawsuit by agreeing to create a program that helped clean up oil spills into large bodies of water (Protecting Drinking Water from Hazardous Spills, 2018).  Second, the Toxic Substances Control Act was created to give the EPA authority to report, keep records of, and apply restrictions to the use of chemical substances or mixtures (Friis, 2012).  This Act does not include food, cosmetics, drugs, or pesticides because those have their own regulations and laws (Friis, 2012).  However, it does address the production, use, and disposal of certain chemicals such as asbestos, radon, and lead paints (Friis, 2012).  One example of this the continuous strict access to these chemicals and only allowing certified personnel to handle them as well as survey and maintain locations with high radon levels (Toxic Substances Control Act and Federal Facilities, 2018).  Based off of these examples, I feel as though these laws are extremely effective because even when there are mishaps, such as oil spills, the regulators of the laws are continuously coming up with new ideas on how to make the laws better for the citizens of America.  I believe these two laws are the most important environmental health laws because they not only protect the environment, but also the safety and health of the people in this country.  Without these laws, the water would be polluted beyond repair and the use of chemicals would be too wide spread and they would effect just about everyone in the U.S.


Friis, R. H. (2012). Essentials of Environmental Health (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Protecting Drinking Water From Hazardous Spills. (2018). Retrieved October 10, 2018, from 

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