Environmental Hazards And Environmental Health Hazards

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Humans are constantly interacting with the environment. As a result, maintaining a healthy environment is key to increasing quality of life and years of healthy life. Globally, nearly one-quarter of the global disease burden, and more than one-third of the burden among children, is due to modifiable environmental factors. (Prüss-Üstün, 2006). Environmental health hazards generally fall into one of three categories: physical, chemical, or biological. The impact an environmental hazard may have on the health of an individual can be greatly affected by the person’s genetics, life style, and their risk perceptions. The influence of poor environmental quality on health is greater in people whose health status is already at risk. Therefore, …show more content…

Of these examples, air pollution, contaminated water, and our built environment often have the greatest impact on health. Air pollution is the product of the release of harmful materials into the air. Common air pollutants include: hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and ozone. In fact, exhaust emissions from cars and trucks are the main source of most of these air-borne pollutants (Health Unit, 2000). Increased amounts of contaminants in the air can lead to irritation of the respiratory tract and increased hospital admissions for respiratory complaints. For example: a common health problem related to airborne contaminants is asthma (Health Unit, 2000). Certain types of bacteria and other organisms present in water can cause serious health problems. Hence, why it is so important for people to have access to safe drinking water. In order to ensure that water quality meets the various requirements to be drank or used for recreational purposes, there are many monitoring and testing systems put in place. The built environment refers to roads, buildings, homes, workplaces, schools, parks and business complexes. In other words, it is everything man made that has altered our natural surroundings. Well-designed cities, towns, and parks provide numerous opportunities for experiences that improve health. However, urban sprawl, unregulated industrial development and decaying public infrastructure can bring about damaging consequences such as pollution,

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