What is environmental health: definition and examples

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Environmental health refers to the influence of environmental factors on people's health. These factors can be biological, chemical, social or of other types. But environmental health has other objectives, among them we can highlight that of evaluating, controlling and correcting those factors that may negatively affect people's health.

Do you want to know more about what is Enviromental health, his definition Y examples? In the following Green Ecologist article we will explain it to you!

What is environmental health?

As we said, environmental health is concerned with evaluating, controlling and correcting factors that negatively affect people's health. In this way, the concept of environmental health is associated with the fight against pollution. For example, a plant that emits large amounts of toxic smoke and whose discharges pollute the water, is an environmental health problem, since it can cause from poisoning to an increase in the incidence of certain types of human cancers.

The Enviromental health it also takes into account the sanitary point of view, for example:

  • Controlling the water supply
  • Controlling the vaccination schedule for children.
  • Evaluating the sewer system.
  • Reviewing community or workplace hygiene.

Factors influencing environmental health

It is possible to divide the environmental factors influencing health in 3 large groups:

Physical factors

They differ in:

  • Atmospheric factors: are the factors related to air quality and climate change. These factors influence our moods and physical health. An example is bone pain as a result of humidity or respiratory diseases and allergies due to sudden changes in temperature.
  • Sideric factors: are those general factors of our planet such as solar, lunar and surrounding comets. These factors influence environmental conditions and, therefore, environmental health.
  • Other factors: such as those derived from the use of electrical appliances or computer equipment, industrial machinery, access to electricity, access to drinking water, access to a varied diet or access to schooling.

Chemical factors

Chemical factors are what more frequently influence environmental health, because they are found in the air, water and in everyday products and can enter the body through the respiratory, digestive system or by direct contact with skin or mucous membranes. The action of these factors can be individually or in combination with other factors.

Among these factors we can find metals or non-metals, in solid or liquid state, some of which are natural inorganic elements such as mercury or lead and that can be inhaled, ingested or absorbed, others are natural organic elements and others are synthetic compounds. , such as pesticides or herbicides used in agriculture.

Biological factors

Among these factors we find bacteria, viruses, parasites (unicellular or multicellular and their toxins), mycoplasmas, fungi, yeasts and their mycotoxins, plants and allergens of biological origin.

Environmental health in the population: examples

An example of poor environmental health can be found in marginal areas of cities in which people live who live situations that can negatively affect their health. Consider the example of a child living in one of these areas, for example a favela. This child may have schooling problems, a negative social environment, poor education, or lack of access to certain basic goods. In fact, poor housing or poor nutrition is one of the factors that analyzes environmental health. Even two people with the same genetics will have different health states if one lives in an area without access to drinking water and eats junk food and the other in an environment with access to all the comforts and eating a healthy diet.

These situations represent a danger to people's health. To cope with it, environmental health experts implement different strategies to combat health risks and, above all, to fight against harmful social and environmental situations. These professionals must also make a correct diagnosis of these situations and, for this, they must travel to the field to observe them directly, since these situations can only be understood from a personal experience and not only as a theoretical act.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is environmental health: definition and examples, we recommend that you enter our Environmental Health category.

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