Assignment 3: Final Project: Background Paper

This week, you will summarize the key background information needed to define the problem in detail, including why it is a problem, the main causes of the problem, the severity of the problem, who is affected by the problem, and previous attempts to solve the problem.

For this assignment:

  • Gather the key background information on the specific problem you described in your last week’s problem statement to further examine and better understand the gap you identified in Week 2.
  • Recall the following example:
    • Recently, nail salons have been the focus of worker safety initiatives because they use hazardous chemicals such as methacrylates, acetates, toluene, and formaldehydes. Are consumers adequately protected from hazardous chemicals when they receive services in the nail salons?
    • The background information to be gathered for the above example would include the key types of information needed by a reader to understand the problem statement, which include the following:
      • The main health hazards of the chemicals listed
      • Chemical exposure levels in nail salons
      • The types of worker safety initiatives in progress and information on the groups or agencies that are undertaking these initiatives
      • Differences in exposure levels when salon workers and salon patrons are compared (average duration of exposure is an important component of this)
      • Identification of any vulnerable populations of consumers, such as pregnant women
  • Write a 4- to 5-page background paper in a Microsoft Word document addressing the following:
    • Begin by stating the 2- to 3-sentence problem statement that you submitted in Week 2.
    • Provide, in a succinct manner, the key types of information needed by a reader to understand what the problem is and why it is a problem. This includes information such as how big the problem is, who is affected, and the time trends in the problem.
    • Provide factual information needed to understand the problem at the local, national, and global level (background). Include disparities (disadvantaged populations that are disproportionately affected by the problem or vulnerable populations).
    • Include appropriate statistics to document the extent of the problem, medical definitions of pertinent health problems or diseases, pollutant sources, and toxicity profiles of chemicals as indicated.
    • Be sure to provide enough information for the reader to fully understand the question you posed in your problem statement.
    • End the paper with a transitional statement that leads toward (but not yet discussed) the topics of Weeks 4 and 5, namely, the landscape and the stakeholders involved in the problem and the range of options available to address the problem.
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