We’ve all heard that most individuals die from chronic diseases or catastrophic disasters. But did you know that environmental challenges also kill people? Indeed, we’re talking about the environment, which is riddled with heaps of pollution and hazardous substances in the air, and this is the same air we breathe all day.
One may believe that this is not a serious issue and that the environment has no negative impact on our health and lives, but this is not the case. As pollution levels rise, the threat to our lives is not far behind. We must recognize that, much like chronic or acute sickness, the environment has an impact on our health and life.
How do environmental factors affect our health?￼
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), environmental factors kill 12-18% of persons in 52 countries. It is difficult to determine the specific cause of human health decrease owing to environmental variables, however there are various theories relating to biological, physical, and economic issues that are linked to environmental factors.
Some may believe that environmental health risks are solely caused by the filthy air we breathe, but they are also caused by the food we consume, the water we drink, and the surroundings we live in. These factors have a significant impact on our health and the functions of our bodies.
sources of environmental factors
The following are some of the probable sources of environmental health concerns.
Exposure to lead in water and soil can be hazardous to one’s health. Lead is a dangerous heavy metal that can build up in the body and cause a variety of health issues. Ingestion of lead-contaminated water or soil can result in lead poisoning, which can induce headaches, stomach pain, lethargy, and cognitive impairment. Lead exposure can also impair children’s growing brains and nervous systems, causing developmental delays, learning difficulties, and behavioural issues. Pregnant women exposed to lead may also have complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues in their unborn child. As a result, it is critical to take efforts to prevent lead exposure in water and soil, such as testing.
Flame retardants are chemicals that are applied to a variety of materials, including plastics, fabrics, and furniture, to delay or prevent the spread of fire. There is evidence that several types of flame retardants may be harmful to human health, including reproductive and developmental health, thyroid function, and cancer risk.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), for example, have been reported to accumulate in human tissues and breast milk and have been associated with detrimental health effects. Moreover, certain newer flame retardants, such as organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs), have also been identified to have possible health hazards.
Air pollution can have serious consequences for human health. Air pollution, such as particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur dioxide, can cause respiratory and cardiovascular disorders such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and heart disease. Air pollution can also aggravate pre-existing health problems and raise the chance of early death. Long-term air pollution exposure has also been linked to cognitive deterioration and neurological diseases. Children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing health disorders are especially vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution. To safeguard human health, it is critical to take steps to reduce air pollution and limit exposure to dangerous contaminants.
The presence of smoke in our environment might be harmful to our health. Breathing in smoke, whether from tobacco smoke or other sources such as wildfires or pollution, can cause a variety of health difficulties such as respiratory ailments, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Children are especially vulnerable to these health issues since their lungs and immune systems are still developing.
Secondhand smoke exposure might also be harmful. Nonsmokers are exposed to many of the same hazardous substances as smokers when they breathe in secondhand smoke. This increases their chances of developing respiratory difficulties, heart disease, and lung cancer.
Pesticides can be hazardous to human health. Pesticides are chemicals that are intended to kill or manage pests, but they can also harm non-target creatures such as humans. Pesticide exposure can result in a variety of health concerns, including skin irritation, respiratory problems, neurological problems, reproductive problems, and cancer. Pesticides can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or contact with the skin. Pesticide workers, such as farmers and agricultural workers, are especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Those who do not deal with pesticides, on the other hand, can be exposed to them through tainted food and water. To safeguard human health, pesticides must be handled and used carefully, with as little exposure as possible.
Nanomaterials have the potential to harm human health in a variety of ways. Because of their small size, they can enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact and collect in a variety of organs and tissues. Certain nanomaterials may cause oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell damage, which can result in respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological illnesses.
Furthermore, the characteristics and behaviour of nanoparticles may differ from those of bulk materials, making them more dangerous and difficult to predict their impact on human health. As a result, it is critical to thoroughly assess the possible dangers and benefits of employing nanomaterials in particular applications, and to take the required precautions to avoid or reduce exposure to them.
While we know that the aforementioned environmental elements can have a significant negative impact on our health, it is also crucial to highlight that not only particular chemicals or poisonous substances, but also the availability of other key things, are important for maintaining health. In other words, suppose a person is overweight as a result of genetics and chemical exposure. To overcome the disease, one must be active every day and have access to some effective workout facilities. This is another example of an environmental component that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Also, the availability of a suitable amount of nourishment in food is critical for every other human being on the planet.
As a result of the preceding essay, we may conclude that the environment has a variety of affects on our health and well-being. It is vital to take specific activities and efforts to maintain ourselves healthy and fit because, at the end of the day, we are responsible for our own well-being.