Public Health Issues Assignment

Public Health Issues Assignment

Public Health Issues Assignment

Question Description
Browse your local newspaper or other local publications for articles that focus on public health issues at the local, state, and/or national level. For example, reports or articles that discuss a train collision, an earthquake in California, the dedication of a new park in your neighborhood, an outbreak of the flu in Texas, low-cost child immunization clinics, or a free traveling mammogram program for low-income women are all examples of public or community health issues.

Locate two examples of community or public health issues from a local publication, magazine, or newspaper. The examples you select should focus on completely different topics – for example, select one article that discusses a new park and another article that focuses on plans for a new coal-fired power plant.
Write a one paragraph summary of each article. Include a proper reference to the source of the article.
Include an additional paragraph that explains why you consider these articles to be public or community health.
Your original post should consist of complete sentences and include three paragraphs.
Reply to at least two of your online colleagues’ posts with reflective questions, substantive comments, or relevant personal experiences.

Community Health

Environmental health issues pose a significant threat to the population’s health. Environmental issues such as lead contamination act as a considerable source of health problems to vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Nurses and other healthcare providers promote their population’s optimum health by advocating the adoption of policies that prevent their exposure to lead contamination and other pollutants. Therefore, the purpose of this essay is to explore the issue of lead contamination in the United States. The essay further examines the current policies that address lead contamination, changes I would propose to the existing policies, stakeholders needed, and the impact of policy changes on the health care delivery system.

Description of the Public Health Issue

The selected environmental health problem of significance to public health is lead contamination. Lead contamination is a public health concern for states in America. Lead is a naturally occurring metal with potentially harmful effects when exposed to human beings. Humans become exposed to lead in ways such as drinking contaminated water, breathing contaminated air, or eating contaminated foods(Obeng-Gyasi et al., 2021). All the populations are at risk of lead exposure. The most vulnerable ones include children and pregnant women. Children’s exposure to lead can result in harm such as neurological and behavioral problems due to brain damage. Lead exposure in pregnant women can lead to the metal crossing the placenta to affect the unborn child and can be expressed through breast milk. The additional health risks associated with lead exposure include anemia, cardiovascular, renal, and reproductive problems, slowed growth, and learning difficulties(Schwaba et al., 2021).

Lead contamination and exposure occur at local and state levels. However, the exposure rates vary across different states. For example, New York State has the highest level of childhood lead exposure than any other state. In 2019, 12% of newborns in New York were found to have higher lead levels in the blood than normal. Lead contamination has enormous economic impacts. For example, the state of New York incurs $1.1 billion directly and indirectly from lead exposure to children. Estimates show that about 170 million people in the United States were exposed to lead in their childhood(, n.d.). Therefore, interventions to prevent and minimize lead contamination should be adopted across the United States.

How the Current Policies Address the Public Health Issue

Policies have been adopted to address the problem of lead contamination in the United States. One of the policies adopted to address lead contamination is the Toxic Substances Control Act. The Toxic Substances Control Act was adopted in 1976. It gives the EPA the authority to demand reporting, testing requirements, record keeping, and restrictions relating to chemical substances, including those containing lead. The other policy is the Residential Lead-Based Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. The Residential Lead-Based Hazard Reduction Act was adopted to regulate selling houses with lead paints(Dignam et al., 2019). It also supports public education on the dangers of exposure to lead paint.

The Clean Air Act also addresses the issue of lead contamination. The Clean Air Act was adopted in 1995 to address air quality concerns. The policy requires the EPA to develop standards that must be enforced to ensure air quality. It also sets national emission standards, emission controls, and regulations that eliminate the production of ozone-depleting chemicals. The act is instrumental in supporting interventions that minimize lead exposure through inhaled air. The other policy that addresses lead contamination is the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Safe Drinking Water Act is a policy adopted in 1974 to protect the quality of drinking water in America. The policy focuses on any water for drinking use. The policy authorizes EPA to establish standards to protect water used for human consumption and the need for compliance by the involved institutions(Mueller & Gasteyer, 2021). This includes assuring the consumers of the safety of drinking water from lead contamination.

Changes I Would Propose to the Existing Policies

I would recommend the existing policies that address lead contamination be revised to incorporate the diverse policy proposals by the different states. States develop new policies regularly to ensure minimal population exposure to lead. For example, congress proposed the adoption of a policy to increase water testing in schools, cities, and daycares across the United States to minimize and prevent lead contamination. Similarly, states such as New York have proposed policies such as Point of Sale Disclosure, Lead in School Drinking Water Act, and Renovation, Repair, and Painting policies to ensure the population’s health. Adopting each of these separate policies in the different states may take time and are repetitive. As a result, an effective solution that should be considered is revising the policies examined in the earlier section to incorporate the different policy proposals by the states(Jacobs & Brown, 2023). The consideration would ensure a unified approach to addressing lead contamination in the United States. The required steps to initiate a policy change include issue identification, agenda placement, policy formulation, policy implementation, and policy evaluation.

Necessary Stakeholders

The stakeholders needed to initiate a policy change include community members, legislators, advisory members, and healthcare providers. Community members must be involved in any policy change initiative. They provide input on the issues that a policy must address for its relevance. They also provide information that can be used to perform a cost-benefit analysis of a policy. Legislators influence the adoption of a policy change. They lobby for the government’s support for the policy and its alignment with the prioritized needs of the population. Advisory members guide policy teams by estimating the resources and impacts associated with a proposed policy change(Mees et al., 2019). Healthcare providers also provide input on the potential public health impacts of a policy and its need.

Impact on Health Care Delivery System

Policy changes on issues related to lead contamination have a considerable impact on the healthcare delivery system. First, the changes enhance the public’s safety. New approaches to preventing and minimizing lead exposures can be adopted, hence, optimum public health and safety. Policy changes also increase transparency, accountability, and responsibility among institutions. The development of new standards and improvement of the existing ones will ensure that institutions involved in assuring public health and safety are held liable for lead exposures and any quality and safety events. Overall, the disease burden due to lead contamination will also decrease in the population with policy changes(Obeng-Gyasi et al., 2021). This will increase productivity while decreasing the state’s spending on health problems associated with lead contamination.


In summary, lead contamination is an environmental problem that causes considerable harm to children, pregnant women, and adults. Policies have been adopted to address lead contamination in the United States. However, policy revision should be considered to ensure the incorporation of the different policy proposals by states. This would ensure unified approaches to addressing lead contamination and health equity for all.


Dignam, T., Kaufmann, R. B., LeStourgeon, L., & Brown, M. J. (2019). Control of Lead Sources in the United States, 1970-2017: Public Health Progress and Current Challenges to Eliminating Lead Exposure. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice : JPHMP, 25(Suppl 1 LEAD POISONING PREVENTION), S13–S22.

Jacobs, D. E., & Brown, M. J. (2023). Childhood Lead Poisoning 1970-2022: Charting Progress and Needed Reforms. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 29(2), 230–240.

Mees, H. L. P., Uittenbroek, C. J., Hegger, D. L. T., & Driessen, P. P. J. (2019). From citizen participation to government participation: An exploration of the roles of local governments in community initiatives for climate change adaptation in the Netherlands. Environmental Policy and Governance, 29(3), 198–208.

Mueller, J. T., & Gasteyer, S. (2021). The widespread and unjust drinking water and clean water crisis in the United States. Nature Communications, 12(1), Article 1. (n.d.). Lead. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from

Obeng-Gyasi, E., Ferguson, A. C., Stamatakis, K. A., & Province, M. A. (2021). Combined Effect of Lead Exposure and Allostatic Load on Cardiovascular Disease Mortality—A Preliminary Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(13), Article 13.

Schwaba, T., Bleidorn, W., Hopwood, C. J., Gebauer, J. E., Rentfrow, P. J., Potter, J., & Gosling, S. D. (2021). The impact of childhood lead exposure on adult personality: Evidence from the United States, Europe, and a large-scale natural experiment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(29), e2020104118.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

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Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.