Profile of Environmental Degradation
Environmental impact on human diseases
Definition of Environmental Health
World Health Organization ( WHO 1993) defined as the “ Environmental health comprises those aspects of human health, including quality of life , that are determined by physical, chemical, biologic, social and psycho-social factors in the environment”.
Environmental health refers to the theory and practice of assessing, correcting, controlling and preventing these factors in the environment that potentially can adversely affect the health of present and future generations (WHO,1993).
Environmental health relates to ecological factors, human activity ( production or consumption) and human behavior that impact socioeconomic condition and environmental life support systems and potentially affect the well-being of present and future generations by increasing human disease, injury, conditions and premature death. Thus any external factors that negatively affects human health can be considered an environmental health hazard.
Poverty and Health Risks
Kinds of Environmental Health HazardsIn general , environmental change can degrade human health either directly by exposing people to harmful agents or
- · Physical hazards
- · Chemical hazards
- · Biological hazards
- · Psychological / sociological hazards
Physical HazardsClimate and weather have a powerful impact on human health and well being. Climate change directly affects human health through temperature and weather extremes. A number of indirect impacts are likely to arise from changes in precipitation and temperature patterns, which may disturb natural diseases, harm agriculture and freshwater supplies. These indirect effects may, in the long run, have greater cumulative impacts on human health than the direct effects.
Psychological and sociological Hazards
There are 3 key requirements for developing a sustainable community:
Ecological Health - use nature’s productivity without damaging it.
Community Health -foster social well-being, through the promotion of fairness,equity and co-operation.
Individual Health – secure food,shelter,health care,education etc. for everyone.