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Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Envirofacts website...

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joanne79 | Student, College Senior | (Level 2) Honors

Posted June 14, 2013 at 1:35 AM via web

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Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Envirofacts website athttp://www.epa.gov/enviro/ . Enter the city boca raton Fl, zip code 33434,  Explore the site to learn more about this environment and things that might be impacting the health of its citizens. Identify something new you learned about this environment and how it could be affecting health. How could you, in the role of a community health nurse, address these concerns?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted June 22, 2013 at 5:18 PM (Answer #1)

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I did what you requested in your question.  I checked out the envirofacts for Boca Raton, Florida from the EPA's website.  Basically, the site lists all EPA monitored and permitted businesses in a given area.  They divide the businesses into categories like water discharge, air emissions, chemical waste, toxic chemical handling, and radiation equipment.  There are no radiation or toxic chemical listings for that area so there are no concerns there.  But there are water, air, and chemical waste listings.  Many of the listings are for parking lots and garages.  The main pollutant concerns from these areas will be from auto exhaust and stormwater drainage, so there is nothing really here for a community nurse to do.  But many of the businesses listed here that fall under all three categories are dry cleaning businesses.  There appear to be many of them in Boca Raton.  Dry cleaning utilizes chemical solvents (other than water) that can pose a wastewater and air emissions hazard if not handled properly.  Also, these chemicals once used are considered chemical waste and must be stored, handled, and disposed of properly to prevent contamination.  One of the most common dry cleaning chemical solvents is perchloroethylene (also referred to as PERRC).  I noticed after checking a few reports that many of these facilities have never had an on-site inspection by the EPA.  They have all of the permits in place to operate but have never been physically visited for inspection to make sure that the PERC (or other chemicals) is not being leaked into the air, soil, or water.  A local community nurse could make a push here for the local EPA office to make more inspections to these dry cleaning facilities to make sure that they are compliant with all local laws and ordinances.

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