According to the World Health Organization, in its broadest sense, environmental health includes those aspects of human health, disease and injury that are determined or influenced by environmental factors”.
This includes the study of the direct pathological effects of various chemical, physical, and biological agents, as well as the health effects of broad physical and social entertainment, which includes housing, urban development, land use, transportation, industry and agriculture.
The impact of the environment on human health is significant. Environmental protection is therefore the primary concern of public health practice. Environmental factors play a central role in human development, health and disease.
In a broad sense, the environment, including infectious agents, is one of the three main factors that affect human health. The other two are genetic factors and personal behavior.
Human exposures to hazardous agents in air, water, soil and food and to physical hazards in the environment are major causes of disease, disability and death worldwide.
Poor environmental quality is estimated to be directly responsible for around 25% of all preventable health problems worldwide. Ill health resulting from poor environmental quality varies greatly from country to country. Poor environmental quality has its greatest impact on people whose health may already be at risk.
- Environmental risks
The environment we live in greatly affects our health. Home, work, outdoor and transportation environments pose health risks in different ways.
- Water and sanitation
Adverse health effects are associated with ingestion of unsafe water, lack of access to water (linked to inadequate hygiene), lack of access to sanitation, contact with unsafe water and inadequate management of water resources and system, in agriculture too, infectious diarrhea makes the greatest contribution. diseases associated with unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.
- Indoor smoke from solid fuels
Although air pollutant emissions are dominated by outdoor sources, human exposures are a function of the level of pollution where people spend most of their time. Human exposure to air pollution is therefore dominated by the indoor environment. Cooking and heating with solid fuels such as dung, wood, agricultural residues or coal is likely to be the largest source of indoor air pollution globally. When used in simple stoves, these fuels emit a significant amount of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen, sulfur oxides and benzene.
- Toxic and waste
The levels of exposure to hazardous substances and wastes in the environment and their associated health effects have been noted time and time again.
Although much research needs to be conducted to establish a direct relationship between hazardous substances in the environment and their adverse effects on human health, the identification of toxic substances and wastes, whether hazardous, industrial or municipal, that pose an environmental health concern the risk represents a significant achievement in the research work.
- Urban Air Pollution
The serious consequences of exposure to high levels of urban ambient air pollution were highlighted in the mid-20th century when cities in Europe and the United States experienced episodes of air pollution. such as the infamous London Fog of 1952 which resulted in many deaths and injuries.
Urban air pollution is largely and increasingly the result of burning fossil fuels for transportation, power generation, and other human activities. atmospheric transformation products, such as ozone and sulphate particles formed during the combustion of sulfur-containing fuels.
Air pollution from combustion sources is associated with a wide range of acute and chronic health effects that can vary depending on the constituents of the pollutants.
Particulate air pollution (ie particles small enough to be inhaled into the lungs) is consistently and independently linked to the most serious effects, including lung cancer and other cardiopulmonary conditions. Other constituents, such as lead ozone attributed to urban air pollution are also associated with serious health effects.