ICurriculum Mode: I
Students taking toxicology come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, and the Audit is a hands-on study which the student can tailor to their own professional needs, making it an important part of their transcript and employment applications. Experiential work is often highly regarded when applications for employment are being made. For the Audit, the student chooses an operation, industry or premises with the aim of assessing and reporting on aspects of the:
— production, handling, transport, storage, and use of hazardous substances (biological, chemical, and physical radiation) — health risks associated with the products and processes — existing safety precautions and the improvement of these approaches by the specific industry concerned.
Fundamental to the audit is the identification of a suitable premises by the student. There are many premises to choose
from because almost every type of human activity has its associated chemicals, many of which are toxic if humans are exposed to them in the wrong way, at the wrong dose, or for too long. A horticulture student might, for example, select a flower nursery with its multitude of herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers, while a medical science student might want to choose the hospital pharmacy or oncology research unit to carry out the audit. An environmental health practitioner might choose a chemical manufacturing plant, service station, or hardware warehouse, while an animal scientist might choose a horse unit with its range of drenches and other treatments, or even a unit in which poisonous snakes are handled.
You will find managers and staff to be generally supportive with regard to your assessment. While University laboratories have their share of toxic substances, these premises have been over-studied by toxicology students, with similar, repetitive reports being presented each year on the same conditions and hazards. Because of this lack of originality University laboratories are seen to offer a situation with minimal original investigation potential for the Audit, and should therefore not be used Your own home is also not a suitable subject for the audit, but a business in which you work or a high school which you attended might be.
It is essential that a real premises or operation is studied; it is not adequate to give generalisations about a generic type of premises or operation as actual hazard depends very much on local conditions.
Suggested approach:
While the detailed approach will be left up to the student, it is recommended that at least the following steps be followed in order for the audit to be complete.
1. It is suggested you start off by thinking of a number of premises that might give you access to information relating to substances used or stored. Visit a number of these places and make contact with the person in charge to assess the feasibility of an investigation. Sometimes it is better to build up cooperation in a step.wise fashion, and this is likely to be more productive if the student presents themselves in a professional way (eg: by making an appointment. and haying read up on the operation so that intelligent questions can be asked and time is not wasted, and dressing appropriately for the environment which may include use of personal protective
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