Human interaction with the environment is constant, whether trying to obtain food, water, or even going for a walk. As the worldly population continues to increase, our interaction with the ecosystem is also likely to expand. These interactions can have several consequences on human health; they pose a serious risk of severe health diseases such as cancer and asthma. Some of these risk factors include environmental issues such as pollution, water resources, unsafe chemicals, and harmful sunrays. Technological developments concerning the environment can also prove to be disastrous for your well-being. They only affect our physical health but also influence our mental well-being.
The world health organization reports an estimated 12.6 million deaths each year due to environmental issues. Out of which, nearly 3 million are children aged under five. These statistics provide sufficient evidence for how concerning the subject of environmental health is. Hence, a healthy environment is critical to improving the quality of life.
Environmental factors are diverse and create a long-term impact. Some of these include climate change, occupational hazards, individual exposure to the sun, water, food, natural and man-made disasters, etc. You may not always see it, but the current environment is affecting our health moment by moment in each passing day.
However, knowing the rising health concerns and benefits of developing a healthy environment, educational institutions have introduced CEPH accredited online MPH programs. Perhaps, those looking to work in the healthcare sector can get enrolled to acquire advanced education in the field. These programs familiarize students with various public health issues and outbreaks.
Below, we have elaborated on different environmental factors and how they affect your well-being.
- Air pollution
Air pollution is the most common environmental issue which affects a large number of people globally. Experts say that increase in air pollution can upsurge the rate of mortality and morbidity. Most people believe that the air population is human-caused and a result of car and truck exhaust. While it might be the most dangerous form of air pollution, it is not the only one. Volcanoes, wildfires, and mold spores can also cause air pollution as they may suspend various particles in the air.
Air pollution can have severe long-term effects such as heart diseases, cancer and can also cause damage to a person’s brain and kidneys. Furthermore, air pollution can also contribute to global warming, acid rain, and climate change.
- Noise pollution
Similar to air pollution, noise pollution is also becoming an increasing threat to society. Noise pollution is exposure to noise above 70 dB, which can have adverse health effects.
Ears are a delicate part of your body. Repeated exposure to such elevating noises can damage your eardrum. In more severe cases, you might permanently lose your hearing. Thunderous noises can destroy the tiny cells inside your cochlea- through which your brain detects noises. Apart from hearing issues, noise pollution can also result in high blood pressure, irregular sleep conditions, and severe stress and trauma.
- Unsafe surface and groundwater
Infected or unfiltered recreational or drinking waters can develop many mild illnesses. Contaminated water can cause diarrhea, hepatitis A, dysentery, and polio. One reason behind the production and distribution of infected water is the absenteeism of adequate management.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention notifies that almost 780 million people globally do not have access to clean and hygienic water. More than 2000 children die every day. Hence, it causes more deaths than AIDS and malaria.
Simple filtration and self-storage of the treated water can save millions of lives. A rainwater harvesting system can conserve water and also reduce soil erosion. Education and awareness about sanitation and hygiene can go a long way in improving the quality of water distributed to people.
- Harmful chemicals
Dangerous chemicals are a result of tanks, drums, landfills, and even incinerators. These are fatally harmful to human health. Hence, prevention from such toxic substances is necessary.
Besides, some chemicals are capable of causing nervous system breakdowns even when released in minimal quantities. Moreover, they can also damage the immune system and generate multiple kinds of cancer. Various chemicals can also trigger mental illnesses, such as clinical depression and stress.
- UV rays
Another triggering environmental concern is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunshine can provide you with sufficient Vitamin D and relaxation. Still, sun rays can do more harm than good without the proper protection.
UV rays can cause sunburn and premature aging of the skin. It can also lead to actinic keratosis and solar elastosis. But its most threatening effect is skin cancer. UV rays can also harm your eyes, causing eyelids and other eye-related cancers.
To protect yourself from such harmful rays, make sure to apply sunscreen religiously and limit your exposure to the sun. A mere 10-15% of sunshine is more than enough for your body.
People often don’t take environmental health very seriously when it is one of the most alarming issues today. To reduce the risk of ecological damage to your health, you need to start by looking after your environment.
Small things such as planting a tree to using gases more efficiently can largely omit the threat of health concerns due to environmental factors. Even reducing the use of plastic bottles and straws help in preserving sustainability. Remember, your health is in your hands. Do good for the environment, so it does good for you.