Anthropogenic hazard  

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Awful conflagration of the steam boat Lexington in Long Island Sound on Monday eveg., January 13th 1840, by which melancholy occurence; over 100 persons perished.  Courier lithograph documenting a news event, published three days after the disaster.
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Awful conflagration of the steam boat Lexington in Long Island Sound on Monday eveg., January 13th 1840, by which melancholy occurence; over 100 persons perished. Courier lithograph documenting a news event, published three days after the disaster.

"in the science fiction films, lurk the deepest anxieties about contemporary existence. I don't mean only the very real trauma of the Bomb—that it has been used, ..."--"The Imagination of Disaster" (1965) by Susan Sontag

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons

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Anthropogenic hazards are hazards caused by human action or inaction. They are contrasted with natural hazards. Anthropogenic hazards may adversely affect humans, other organisms, biomes, and ecosystems. They can even cause an omnicide. The frequency and severity of hazards are key elements in some risk analysis methodologies. Hazards may also be described in relation to the impact that they have. A hazard only exists if there is a pathway to exposure. As an example, the center of the earth consists of molten material at very high temperatures which would be a severe hazard if contact was made with the core. However, there is no feasible way of making contact with the core, therefore the center of the earth currently poses no hazard.

An example of the distinction between a natural hazard and a disaster is that an earthquake is the hazard which caused the 1906 San Francisco earthquake disaster. Natural hazards can be provoked or affected by anthropogenic processes, e.g. land-use change, drainage and construction.

Anthropogenic hazards can be grouped into societal hazards (criminality, civil disorder, terrorism, war, industrial hazards, engineering hazards, power outage, fire), hazards caused by transportation and environmental hazards.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Anthropogenic hazard" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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