We know how environment is connected with Human Health, the natural environment is the thin layer of life and life supports, called the biosphere, that contains the earth’s air, soil, water, and living organisms. The connection between protecting the environment and human health has been recognized for some time.
Role of Environment in Human Health
Over the World, ministries of environment and natural reserves have several mandates and missions, but many of them emphasis on the safety of environment because of human health.
Human health is privately connected to the health of the environment. Due to speedily increasing effects on our planet, threats to human health are intense. Among these threats are an increasing incidence of cancer caused by pollution of air, land and water and outbreaks of infectious disease caused by habitat disruption.
Environmental health professionals are concerned with ensuring safety of what we eat, drink, breathe and touch. They study effects of environmental contaminants on human health, and they monitor and respond to outbreaks of disease. This program offers a unique perspective on humans as part of our ecosystem, and promotes a much-needed holistic approach to maintaining and preserving human health.
Apart from food, the environment provides several other natural resources necessary for the survival of human beings. The environment is the source of clean water, medicines, clothing, bio fuels, wood and fossil fuels. These natural resources not only promote human survival on Earth, but they also enhance the living standards of people. Environment is the source of natural resources.
The environment assists in the purification of air from the atmosphere. Plants release oxygen during the process of photosynthesis while using up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The removal of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases from the environment ensures maintenance of the quality of air. In addition, the regulation of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere helps to reduce effects of global warming and climate change.
Major Environmental Factors that Affect Human Health
A number of specific environmental issues can impede human health and wellness. These issues include chemical pollution, air pollution, climate change, disease-causing microbes, lack of access to health care, poor infrastructure, and poor water quality.
Across the world, more than 780 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water; shockingly, about a third of the world’s population lacks access to proper sanitation services (e.g., clean bathrooms). The health implications are sobering: Each day, more than 2,200 children die due to diseases caused by poor water quality.
A number of factors can contribute to poor water quality, including industrial waste and pollution, lack of access to proper water treatment and sanitation services, and outdated plumbing infrastructure.
Global environmental problems account for more than 12.6 million deaths each year, according to WHO data. Along with the issues mentioned here, these can include soil pollution, ultraviolet radiation, and biodiversity loss. According to the data, more than 100 illnesses and injuries can be directly linked to environmental health concerns. Often, these issues have the greatest impact on communities that are poor and already have significant health care vulnerabilities.
Studies have shown that air pollution effects on humans are a significant public health concern, not only because of their role in climate change, but also because exposure to air pollution can increase morbidity and mortality.
When environmental scientists talk about air pollution, they’re describing any solid or liquid particles, as well as gases, that are suspended in the air and have harmful or poisonous effects. When we think about air pollution, we tend to think in terms of human-caused pollutants, and rightly so: Some of the most dangerous and ubiquitous examples of air pollution include car and truck exhaust, as well as polluting by-products of industrial processes. However, many natural air pollutants can cause health concerns; for example, pollen and mold spores are often linked with asthma and allergies.
Different chemicals can impact human health in different ways, and often, exposure to dangerous or foreign substances creates health vulnerabilities. The chemical safety field is concerned with minimizing the effects of both natural and synthetic chemicals. More specifically, chemical safety seeks to safeguard human and environmental health from exposure to potential toxins; it focuses on chemicals that exist in the ambient world, as well as synthetic chemicals that are used in industrial processes or are the by-products of manufacturing activity
Diseases caused by microbes — also known as microorganisms — present another area of public health concern. Trillions of microbes exist within the human body, and they also live in water, soil, and air. Most of them have no negative health effects, and many microbes perform important biological functions, such as supporting digestive and immune health, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are types of microbes.
Harmful microbes, which are more commonly called pathogens or germs, can infect humans and cause illness. Eating is one of the primary ways in which humans can contract diseases caused by microbes. One example is poisoning E.coli, a type of bacteria that can be found in the environment and in foods, and which can cause respiratory illness, urinary tract infections, and other adverse health effects.
Also read: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Lives
Maintaining a healthy environment is essential for helping people live longer and for enhancing their quality of life. Consider a sobering statistic from Healthy People, which notes that 23% of all deaths (and 26% of deaths among children ages 5 and younger) result from entirely preventable environmental health problems.
By optimizing environmental health, communities can reduce exposure to disease, as well as to pollutants that have a toxic effect on the body. The benefits of environmental health interventions can improve life for everyone, but may have the most pronounced effect among those who are already in vulnerable health. As Healthy People points out, “Poor environmental quality has its greatest impact on people whose health status is already at risk.”