Q:

What schooling is needed to become a worker in the environmental health field?

A:

Quick Answer

The environmental health field comprises of a wide range of professions, and most require an associate's or bachelor's degree to attain an entry-level position. Professions that fall within this field include air pollution specialists, surface, ground and drinking water specialists, hazardous and solid waste specialists, and emergency management specialists.

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Full Answer

Those in the environmental health field work in offices, laboratories and in the field to ensure environmental safety. These professionals work to reduce air, water, soil, radiation and noise pollution, and food safety specialists work with producers and distributors of food to prevent contamination and educate those who work with edible products. Epidemiologists interview people with relevant diseases, study diseases, perform laboratory tests and help identify potentially dangerous trends in disease transmission. Toxicologists analyze the effects of toxic material on the human body and help develop ways to mitigate damage.

Air pollution specialists monitor air quality, perform audits, inspections and investigations, review and issue permits, and issue citations to violators. Surface, ground and drinking water specialists test water and aquatic life for potential issues, investigate elevated pollutant levels and enforce regulations concerning water management practices. Hazardous waste specialists investigate potential violators, follow up on complaints and help in prosecution efforts of polluters. Solid waste specialists supervise landfill management, perform inspections, issue permits and enforce existing regulations.

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