Environmental health is the science that studies how the environment influences the human disease and health. Environment means things that are natural to us in the environment, for instance air, water, and soil. However, it also covers the physical, chemical, biological, and social features that surround us every day. The physical environment is the man-made or built structures that include our living, work, and even schools. Included in the community systems such as the roads and our transportations, and waste management. However, the alterations such as air pollution to our natural environment, is included in the physical section. The social environment is our social lifestyles like diet, exercise, socioeconomic status and many…show more content…
The pollution has both chronic and acute effects on our health, and affects many of our systems and organs. The health consequences of lower levels of pollution have been more difficult to decide. The first cause is that people differ in response to the environment and the toxics. When we are exposed to the different conditions caused by the environment, the variation is wide because of how we react. With this variability of the population, it can mask the effects that do occur in a sensitive segment of the population. The second difficulty is our age, and the timing of the exposures and how it will influence both sensitivity to the environmental agent, and the type of effect it will cause our health. Infants and children may acquire lifelong damage compared to us adults. Environmental regulation and pollution control will remain an important cornerstone of the public health policy. The focus will be prevention, instead of disease treatment. Control of the pollution is a highly cost-effective means ensuring public health. With the contaminated environments and the work hazards in occupations, improving the pollution control may lead to a reduced health care disparities. When the health of all citizens is protected that a nation can fulfill its potential. Another reason we could consider is the climate change. The climate poses a challenge to our health. Threats to our health caused by a toxin or disease pathogen Environmental Factors And Health Essay
The environment plays a crucial role in people’s physical, mental and social well-being. Despite significant improvements, major differences in environmental quality and human health remain between and within European countries. The complex relationships between environmental factors and human health, taking into account multiple pathways and interactions, should be seen in a broader spatial, socio-economic and cultural context.
In 2006, life expectancy at birth in the EU-27 was among the highest in the world — almost 76 years for men and 82 years for women ( 1 ). Most of the gain in life expectancy in recent decades has been due to improved survival of people above the age of 65, while before 1950 it was mostly due to a reduction in premature deaths (i.e. death below the age of 65). On average, men are expected to live almost 81% of their lives free of disability, and women 75% ( 2 ). There are, however, differences between genders, and between Member States.
The degradation of the environment, through air pollution, noise, chemicals, poor quality water and loss of natural areas, combined with lifestyle changes, may be contributing to substantial increases in rates of obesity, diabetes, diseases of the cardiovascular and nervous systems and cancer — all of which are major public health problems for Europe’s population ( 3 ). Reproductive and mental health problems are also on the rise. Asthma, allergies (4), and some types of cancer related to environmental pressures are of particular concern for children.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the environmental burden of disease in the pan-European region at between 15 and 20% of total deaths, and 18 to 20% of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)( A ), with a relatively higher burden in the eastern part of the region ( 5 ). The preliminary results of a study conducted in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, indicate that 6 to 12% of the total burden of disease could be attributed to nine selected environmental factors, out of which particulate matter, noise, radon, and environmental tobacco smoke were leading. Due to uncertainties, the results need to be interpreted with caution as an indicative ranking of environmental health impacts only ( 6 ).Environmental Factors And Health Essay
The significant differences in the quality of the environment across Europe depend on the varying pressures related, for example, to urbanisation, pollution and natural resource use. Exposures and associated health risks, as well as the benefits of pollution reduction and of a natural environment, are not uniformly distributed within populations. Studies show that poor environmental conditions affect vulnerable groups especially ( 7 ). The evidence is scarce, but shows that deprived communities are more likely to be affected; for example, in Scotland, mortality rates in people aged under 75 in the 10% most deprived areas were three times higher than those in the 10% least deprived ( 8 ).
Humans interact with the environment constantly. These interactions affect quality of life, years of healthy life lived, and health disparities. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines environment, as it relates to health, as “all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related behaviors.”1 Environmental health consists of preventing or controlling disease, injury, and disability related to the interactions between people and their environment.
The Healthy People 2020 Environmental Health objectives focus on 6 themes, each of which highlights an element of environmental health:Environmental Factors And Health Essay
Outdoor air quality
Surface and ground water quality
Toxic substances and hazardous wastes
Homes and communities
Infrastructure and surveillance
Global environmental health
Creating healthy environments can be complex and relies on continuing research to better understand the effects of exposure to environmental hazards on people’s health.
Why Is Environmental Health Important?
Maintaining a healthy environment is central to increasing quality of life and years of healthy life. Globally, 23% of all deaths and 26% of deaths among children under age 5 are due to preventable environmental factors.1 Environmental factors are diverse and far reaching. They include:
Exposure to hazardous substances in the air, water, soil, and food
Natural and technological disasters
The built environment
Related Topic Areas
Heart Disease and Stroke
Occupational Safety and Health
Poor environmental quality has its greatest impact on people whose health status is already at risk. Therefore, environmental health must address the societal and environmental factors that increase the likelihood of exposure and disease.
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Understanding Environmental Health
The 6 themes of the Environmental Health topic area draw attention to elements of the environment and their linkages to health.
Outdoor Air Quality
Poor air quality is linked to premature death, cancer, and long-term damage to respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Progress has been made to reduce unhealthy air emissions, but in 2008, approximately 127 million people lived in U.S. counties that exceeded national air quality standards.2 Decreasing air pollution is an important step in creating a healthy environment.Environmental Factors And Health Essay
Surface and Ground Water
Surface and ground water quality concerns apply to both drinking water and recreational waters. Contamination by infectious agents or chemicals can cause mild to severe illness. Protecting water sources and minimizing exposure to contaminated water sources are important parts of environmental health.
Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes
The health effects of toxic substances and hazardous wastes are not yet fully understood. Research to better understand how these exposures may impact health is ongoing. Meanwhile, efforts to reduce exposures continue. Reducing exposure to toxic substances and hazardous wastes is fundamental to environmental health.
Homes and Communities
People spend most of their time at home, work, or school. Some of these environments may expose people to:
Indoor air pollution
Inadequate heating and sanitation
Electrical and fire hazards
Lead-based paint hazards
EPA Air Quality Trends Report
American Housing Survey
National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes
United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Information System
These hazards can impact health and safety. Maintaining healthy homes and communities is essential to environmental health.
Infrastructure and Surveillance
Preventing exposure to environmental hazards relies on many partners, including state and local health departments. Personnel, surveillance systems, and education are important resources for investigating and responding to disease, monitoring for hazards, and educating the public. Additional methods and greater capacity to measure and respond to environmental hazards are needed.Environmental Factors And Health Essay
Global Environmental Health
Water quality is an important global challenge. Diseases can be reduced by improving water quality and sanitation and increasing access to adequate water and sanitation facilities.
Emerging Issues in Environmental Health
Environmental health is a dynamic and evolving field. While not all complex environmental issues can be predicted, some known emerging issues in the field include:
Climate change is projected to impact sea level, patterns of infectious disease, air quality, and the severity of natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and storms.3, 4
Preparedness for the environmental impact of natural disasters as well as disasters of human origin includes planning for human health needs and the impact on public infrastructure, such as water and roadways.5
The potential impact of nanotechnology is significant and offers possible improvements to:
Disease prevention, detection, and treatment
Environmental risk assessment
However, nanotechnology may also present unintended health risks or changes to the environment.6
The Built Environment
Features of the built environment appear to impact human health—influencing behaviors, physical activity patterns, social networks, and access to resources.7
Exposure to Unknown Hazards
Every year, hundreds of new chemicals are introduced to the U.S. market. It is presumed that some of these chemicals may present new, unexpected challenges to human health, and their safety should be evaluated prior to release.Environmental Factors And Health Essay
These cross-cutting issues are not yet understood well enough to inform the development of systems for measuring and tracking their impact. Further exploration is warranted. The environmental health landscape will continue to evolve and may present opportunities for additional research, analysis, and monitoring.
Blood Lead Levels
As of 2017, there are approximately 4 million houses or buildings that have children living in them who are potentially being exposed to lead. Nearly half a million U.S. children ages 1 to 5 have blood lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), which is currently the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be taken. Even blood lead exposure levels as low as 2 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) can affect a child’s cognitive function. Since no safe blood lead level have been identified for children, any exposure should be taken seriously. However, since lead exposure often occurs with no obvious signs or symptoms, it often remains unrecognized. CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is committed to the Healthy People 2020 goals of eliminating childhood lead exposures and decreasing disparities in the differences in average risk of lead exposure based on race and social class as public health concerns. Environmental Factors And Health Essay
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