Hello, my name is Madeline Eagen, candidate number 2460,

Hello, my name is Madeline Eagen, candidate number 2460, school code US684, from Jupiter High School. My group’s topic is technology. My focus is the environment, and if technology poses a threat to public health. The Cambridge Dictionary defines a threat as the possibility that something unwanted will happen, or a person or thing that is likely to cause something unwanted to happen. The influence of technology has continued to grow exponentially, and on a global scale. I will be assessing the ways that technology acts as a possible hazard to the health of society. More advanced technology first began to reach the global scale during the Industrial Revolution, which occurred in most of Europe and America, according to History.com.  Britain, specifically, was seen as its birthplace. In the late 1700s, countries began to switch to more advanced machinery, including the steam engine, and became more dependent on the textile and iron industries. However, these successes came with the poor living conditions lower class citizens had to face. Newer technology meant that more people and jobs were being replaced by machines, meaning lower income for those families. This influx of workers was overwhelming for many countries, which resulted in overcrowded houses and unsanitary living conditions. This led to increased disease and mortality rates. Many young children were assigned the hazardous task of cleaning the machinery and working long hours.  In Africa, western technology is having negative effects on its culture. According to the IOSR Journal Of Humanities and Social Science, video games are introducing violent and inappropriate concepts. Ideas like rape and drug use are commonplace, and these aggressive tendencies have been found to increase these behaviors in their audience. Some are arguing that children should be protected from the corruption of modern civilization, and that these video games are introducing these concepts to them too early. Western technology is also promoting indecent dressing among women, which in turn leads to an increase in rape cases and child prostitution in Africa. Western movies and video games are also providing children with a false sense of what death is, and the idea that life is expendable and can be replaced. However, the introduction of cell phones has offered many opportunities for positive influences. For example, cell phones have been said to improve the connection between expecting mothers and taxi drivers, according to Wharton University. Benefitting both the mothers by getting them to clinics faster, and taxi drivers collecting by new fares. East Africa, specifically, is said to be “obsessed” with new technologies, with Uganda having access to 3,400 medical applications alone. Technology holds the potential to revolutionize healthcare in Africa, making changes for the greater good.The United States is among many countries whose citizens’ are afflicted with mental health disorders. With the introduction of modern technologies, like cell phones and other mobile devices, doctors and patients are able to connect more efficiently than ever. These mobile applications offer benefits like: increased convenience, lower cost, a wider range of patients, and consistent service, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Some concerns presented are to the extent that they are effective for everyone, if they are capable of protecting the user’s privacy, and if all mental health technology should be regulated, and by who. On the other side, Duke University had found that increased use of technology had led to more conduct problems and ADHD symptoms. But they also found that it could be linked to lower reports of depression and anxiety among users. Duke University also conducted a study in which 151 students between the ages of 11 and 15 conducted surveys on their daily smartphone use. They were surveyed three times a day for a month and then evaluated for mental health symptoms. The experiment concluded that the adolescents spent an average of 2.3 hours a day on their smartphones. On days where they used it more, the participants exhibited an increased level of conduct problems, like: lying, fighting, and behavioral issues. They had a harder time focusing and expressed more ADHD symptoms than those who spent less time on their phones.Another country, Venezuela, has been largely influenced by technology, and in some cases, the lack thereof. The decline in oil prices, a major source of income for the country, has only worsened the situation. Venezuela’s citizens are being denied basic health care, and often essential medicines and supplies. The Human Rights Watch found a lack of medication for pain, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases, among others in the hospitals in Venezuela. In fact, some civilians are being forced to turn to the black market to get the materials they need, which is extremely dangerous and where quality is not guaranteed. Doctors of Health found from a survey of 130 hospitals in Venezuela in 19 states that 44 percent of operating rooms were not functioning properly, and 94 percent of labs were lacking the materials they needed to perform safely. Under human rights laws, governments need to be able to provide basic medicines and services to its citizens. Another study by Doctors for Health found that public hospitals were wait-listing around 20,000 patients for surgery. The University Hospital of Caracas had 4,000 patients, 10 of which were reported to have died waiting for surgery. The study also found instances of hospitals reporting that they had reused the masks they had used on children with respiratory conditions, claiming that they lack the funds and materials to effectively treat their patients. The health care in Venezuela is extremely poor, and in some instances, even dangerous. Although, with new technological advancements being made every day, optimists can hope that soon these improved medical technologies will be able to make an impact on those in Venezuela who need it most. Improved health care could greatly increase the quality of life currently, and possibly have other effects like: lower death rates, a stronger economy, and other characteristics of a more developed country. Another South American country, Brazil, has recently been facing expansion in their technology. According to the Brazilian Health Services, Brazil has spent 14.9 billion dollars in medical imports, compared to 737 million dollars in exports. Research like this provides support for the claim that Brazil will be experiencing exponential growth in the medical industry in the near future. However, some also believe that this progress will not be made, with little support from big companies due to their lack of expertise and inability to keep up with the high-tech machinery required by modern healthcare. In addition to the United States, Brazil too has experienced a significant increase in the number of its citizens that are beginning to use smartphone medical applications, in addition to wearable advancements like pedometers and heart rate monitors. As these products gain popularity, they also face the threat of heavy regulations. The Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency requires that any import being used for medical or health related services must comply with strict regulations. This process takes an average of 90 days to become approved, which might be too late for some that require these technologies. So while Brazil is predicted to have growth of their healthcare and technology, their government may be stopping them from reaching their potential.War has been a constant in Afghanistan, and has really changed the way the country has managed its health services. The U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health explain that an assessment done in 2003 found that only 9% of Afghanistan’s citizens has access to basic health services. War has caused effects such as: lack of clean drinking water, malnutrition, and reduced access to health care, according to the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University. Citizens have been getting killed in crossfire, by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assassinations, bombings, and night raids. Additionally, in 2009, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health reported that two-thirds of its citizens suffer from mental health problems. Advancements in war technology have had drastic effects on health and environment of the people of Afghanistan. Technology is changing everyday, and it holds the potential to change the lives of billions. These new advancements have both their advantages and their drawbacks, especially when it comes to the health of the people. Some technologies, and sometimes the lack of, are a hazard to public health, whereas other help improve it tremendously. Regardless, technology is something we need to be able to make available to all people, no matter where they live. A list of sources will follow. Thank you.