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Public Health

Technologies based on physics applications can affect the overall health of a community. As London grew in the 19th century, for example, public health was threatened by cholera, a water-borne disease. After public authorities decided to invest in the construction of sewers and a water system supplying clean water, public health improved dramatically.

Ethical issues continue to arise as people debate whether new technologies bring about more benefits than harm.

In this section, we focus on radiation as a topical example of a public health issue and look at

Doing goodText equivalent: Doing goodMany innovations such as radios and mobile phones have been livesaving though are often only available to richer people.
Text equivalent: Avoid harmWe know that high energy EM radiation such as X rays and gamma rays can be harmful. We also know that visible light is safe, but what about microwaves (used to carry mobile phone signals)?
Managing conflictText equivalent: Managing conflicting ideasA worker, in the nuclear industry say, may decide that the possibility of harm is worth  the money they get for doing the job.

Click here to remind yourself about EM Radiation

Possible damages from radiation