Environmental health is a wide subject that encompasses biological and physical factors that affect a person. Similarly, it involves the chemical factors that affect human existence. Therefore, focusing on environmental health will extend the need to protect human life by potentially reducing health conditions and illnesses. Apparently, environmental health extends its focus on public health and making human life comfortable.
Environmental health is a prevalent issue in today’s world. Many organizations have explicitly expressed their views on the need to maintain a safe environment for the betterment of human life. However, some human activities are leading to a deteriorated state of the environment such as global warming. This has been a course of concern as many communities, societies, and individuals strive to make a healthy environment.
Care and maintenance of environmental health is a vital and significant subject that has attracted reaction from various stakeholders, environmental scientists, and environmental organizations. A safe environment ensures that people live in a habitat that is free of health hazards. However, without much focus on environmental health, both fauna and flora will realize various consequences. To begin with, perfect environmental health will limit the number of illnesses that result due to poor environmental health. According to Jacobsen (2013), an unsafe environment is responsible for a large percentage of illnesses in the world today. Reducing such, illnesses require perfection in caring and maintenance of the environment. However, many people do not consider this as many see it as a tedious job. Apparently, the poor and unsafe environment is common mainly among poor communities residing in poor environments. This scenario is particularly common in rural areas, as well as urban slums. Consequentially, this should not be a reason enough to deteriorate environmental health. Even though these settlement areas lack the needed resources and finances, their contribution and commitment would be pleasant.
Secondly, lack of education is another cause of poor environmental health. In some parts of the world, many people have not realized the need for formal education. As such, they do not consider the importance of environmental health. This has led to harsh environmental conditions since the communities that reside in the stated areas do not have a commitment to a safer environment. This has bizarrely affected the development of a safer environment for human habitation (McMichael, 2003). However, some organizations are sensitizing such communities on the need for a safer environment. This has recorded positive results as many communities across the globe are maintaining a safe atmosphere.
The world health organization has unequivocally stated that ecological improvement can be well articulated by starting at the community, household, and individual levels. Martens and McMichael (2002) argue that individuals and communities are responsible for a large part of environmental degradation. Therefore, starting environmental sensitization programs in the community and at the individual level will help highlight the need for a safe surrounding. This will help a lot in ensuring that poor communities across the globe are maintaining high-class sanitation. This will have a positive impact on the environment, as it will record an upward trend.
Environmental factors that impact health
Quite a number of ecological factors normally affect health. First, there is the disposal of waste materials from households, factories, and industries. These environmental factors have had a negative impact on the health of many communities across the globe. Many industries and households have poor disposal methods of waste materials and this affects the health of people (Jacobsen, 2013). For instance, some industries dispose of waste materials, which later mix with water meant for human consumption. Even though some industries treat the waste materials, the discharge of these materials negative impact on the health of people that reside in the area. This leads to the cropping up of diseases, which at times need extensive treatment. Since some people have limited finance and resources, they do not seek treatment and this may lead to death.
Air pollution is another factor that affects health, according to Martens and McMichael (2002). Many substances can be termed air pollutants. These include smoke from industries, burning materials, automobiles, and air from decomposing materials. Such pollutants have dire effects on the health of people ranging from life-threatening conditions to mild conditions. For instance, polluted air could cause allergy, asthma, and stomach complications. This could lead to the development of other health risks, which might require extensive and specialized treatment. Therefore, there is the need to reduce instances of contact with polluted air to maintain better health.
Thirdly, there is the issue of lead poisoning, which is a threat to human life, especially when in its development stages (Jacobsen, 2013). Lead poisoning occurs when people consume excessive amounts of lead. According to research, lead poisoning has a number of negative effects on the health of a person. First, it leads to inconsistent development as the body organs are affected. With such a condition, a person could later develop other related complications. Secondly, McMichael (2003) reveals that lead poisoning causes behavioral and learning problems. This is particularly so among children who are still growing. Children who have experienced lead poisoning will have a hard time in learning as their health is adversely affected. Similarly, they will have problems in their behavior, as they are at times discordant with other learners. In addition, psychologists have found that lead poisoning have a negative effect on the intelligent quotient (IQ) level of learners. Learners who have experienced lead poisoning will have a lower IQ level, as compared to learners that live in a safe and healthy environment.
My role in improving/eliminating environmental barriers to health
It is everyone’s role to ensure that the environment is safe and maintained at high levels of sanitation. First, there is the need to sensitize communities and households on the need for a safe atmosphere. Individuals and households contribute to deterioration of the surroundings (McMichael, 2003). As such, sensitizing individuals and households will help in safeguarding the environment. For instance, improving sanitation in households will have a direct positive impact on the safety of the environment. This will mark an improvement in the overall situation. As such, there will be a reduction in the number of illnesses associated with environmental health.
Disposal of waste materials is one aspect that has constantly affected environmental health. For instance, there is increased production and use of plastic materials for packaging. However, after using such materials, they are normally disposed off carelessly in the environment (Jacobsen, 2013). This has affected environmental health, as most plastic materials do not decompose. In counterattacking such a habit, there is the need to recycle such materials. For instance, reusing plastic bags could be a practical solution for such a menace. Similarly, computer manufacturing has been on an upward trend in the world. The need for computers has been increasing every year. However, there is an upward trend in irresponsible disposal of computer hardware to the environment. The disposed computer hardware poses danger to the environment as they produce poisonous gases, when decomposing. To avoid this, such computer hardware should be recycled for reuse.
Many industries do not consider the effects of disposing waste materials to the earth’s surface. As such, they haphazardly dispose the waste materials since they do not realize the immediate effects. However, focusing on such industries could be a prudent approach in making a safer setting. To begin with, government bodies should liaise with environmental protection units to regulate disposal of waste materials from industries. This will ensure that waste materials are responsibly disposed thereby reducing the effects on the atmosphere. Secondly, industries should also get involved in environmental cleaning in order to help maintain a safe living. Industries should contribute in safeguarding the lives of people since they are involved in pollution. Lastly, there is need for stringent measures on the part of individuals, industries, and households that carelessly pollute the environment (Jacobsen, 2013). Presently, plans are ongoing to introduce new environmental rules and regulations aimed at ensuring a safe and conducive environment. Therefore, focusing on such rules will be an ultimate solution to maintain safe standards. For instance, prosecution of the perpetrators will have a positive impact. However, in case of a breach of the laws regarding the environment, the environmental conditions will continue to deteriorate. This will have a negative impact on the safety and health of human existence.
The maintenance of a safe environment is very important for human existence. Apparently, many people do not consider the need for a safe environment. This makes life unbearable as it comes with unfavorable consequences. Therefore, collective contribution from individuals and all people across the globe is necessary to ensure a better and healthy environment.
Jacobsen, K. H. (2013). Introduction to Global Health. New York, NY: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Martens, W.J.M., & McMichael, A.J. (2002). Environmental change, climate, and health: issues and research methods. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
McMichael, A.J. (2003). Climate change and human health: risks and responses. Hoboken, NJ: World Health Organization.