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Time Magazine

Essay by review  •  October 28, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,159 Words (5 Pages)  •  950 Views

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Time magazine's June 6, 1983 cover story called stress "The Epidemic of the Eighties" and referred to it as our leading health problem; there can be little doubt that the situation has progressively worsened since then. Numerous surveys confirm that adult Americans perceive they are under much more stress than a decade or two ago. A 1996 Prevention magazine survey found that almost 75% feel they have "great stress" one day a week with one out of three indicating they feel this way more than twice a week. In the same 1983 survey only 55% said they felt under great stress on a weekly basis. It has been estimated that 75 - 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. Job Stress is far and away the leading source of stress for adults but stress levels have also escalated in children, teenagers, college students and the elderly for other reasons, including: increased crime, violence and other threats to personal safety; pernicious peer pressures that lead to substance abuse and other unhealthy life style habits; social isolation and loneliness; the erosion of family and religious values and ties; the loss of other strong sources of social support that are powerful stress busters. http://www.stress.org/problem.htm

Israel's health problems are similar to those prevailing in the Western world. Since heart diseases and cancer account for about two thirds of deaths, the study of these illnesses has become a national priority. Also of great concern are medical care for the aging, problems arising from environmental changes and conditions emanating from current lifestyles, as well as traffic and occupational accidents. Health education programs are widely used to inform the public of the need to stop habits such as smoking and overeating, as well as lack of physical exercise, which have proved detrimental to health. Campaigns are also run frequently to increase workers' and drivers' awareness of potential dangers.

Environmental Hazards

Environmental and health hazards have been generated by rapid population growth and steady expansion of agricultural and industrial activities. More than 70 percent of Israel's industry is concentrated along the narrow coastal zone where meteorological conditions are unfavorable for the dispersal of pollutants. To combat pollution of the Mediterranean and Red Sea coastlines, Israel has adopted a multifaceted program of legislation, enforcement, beach and shore clean-up and international activities, primarily within the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan.

Under conditions of water scarcity and intensive development, the degradation of water quality constitutes a critical problem. The main causes of groundwater pollution are chemical fertilizers, pesticides, seawater intrusion and domestic and industrial wastewater. High priority has been given to wastewater treatment to safeguard environmental and public health and to develop an additional water source for agricultural irrigation. A rehabilitation program for polluted streams has been initiated with the aim of transforming them into vital freshwater resources with ecological and recreational value. Water quality in streams is routinely monitored, while the potability of drinking water is strictly supervised.

Factors affecting air quality include energy production, transportation and industry. In response to alarming levels of pollution in highly industrialized urban areas, primarily along the coastal plain, a comprehensive new program for the management of air resources has been launched, which includes instituting emission standards and expanding the national air monitoring system. The use of low-sulfur coal and oil for energy production has helped reduce concentrations of sulfur oxides considerably, but pollutant emissions linked to increased vehicular traffic have risen significantly. New measures, including lead-free gasoline and catalytic converters, should help combat pollution from this source.

Israel faces an increasing solid waste problem resulting from rapid growth in population, industry and consumption. Hundreds of poorly-operated dumps generate health and environmental hazards. To overcome this problem, Israel is implementing a plan to shut down illegal dumps and replace them with a few environmentally-safe landfills, as well as facilitating a shift to low- and non-waste technology, as stipulated in its recently-enacted recycling law.

Safe management of hazardous substances is spelled out in legislation enacted to provide "cradle to grave" administration, including licensing, regulation and supervision over various aspects of their production, use and handling. Enforcement of the legislation and implementation of Israel's new national contingency plan for dealing with hazardous substances accidents should minimize potential dangers to health and the environment.

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