Exposure science, Occupational hygiene and environmental interaction assessment

Environmental noise monitoring
Exposure science is the study of how people come into contact with various substances in their environment, such as chemicals, pollutants, or radiation. This field examines the pathways by which these substances enter the body and the potential health effects they may have.

Occupational hygiene is a branch of public health that focuses on identifying, evaluating, and controlling workplace hazards that could potentially harm workers’ health. This includes assessing exposure to chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic hazards in the workplace and implementing measures to reduce or eliminate these risks.

Environmental interaction assessment involves evaluating how humans interact with their surrounding environment and how this interaction can impact human health. This may include studying exposure to environmental pollutants, noise pollution, electromagnetic fields, or other factors that may affect human well-being.

In South Africa, there are various legislations and standards in place to regulate exposure science, occupational hygiene, and environmental interaction assessment. These include:

  1. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) of 1993, which sets out the legal requirements for ensuring a safe working environment for employees and protecting them from occupational hazards.
  2. The Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulations under the OHSA, which governs the handling and use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace to protect workers from exposure.
  3. The National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) of 1998, which establishes a framework for sustainable management of South Africa’s natural resources and protection of the environment.
  4. The Air Quality Act of 2004, which aims to regulate air quality standards to protect human health and the environment from harmful emissions.

By adhering to these legislations and standards, organizations can ensure that they are effectively managing exposures in the workplace and protecting both workers and the environment from potential harm.