Health & the Environment Health & theEnvironmentINTRODUCTIONHealth is a condition where theperson is not physically, mentally, and socially not fit or is not in the stateof well-being and is not only limited to merely the absence of disease orinfirmity. Whereas if we talk about the Environment it includes all theexternal factors effecting an organism. These factors may be other livingorganisms (Biotic factors) or non-living variables (abiotic factors).
Suchabiotic factors may be temperatures, rainfall, day length, and ocean currents.Health and the Environment both are directly related to each other and havedirect influence over each other. As, a good health depends on the environmentand for good health the environment must be good. According to Ivan Illich anAustrian philosopher “Healthy people are those who live in healthy homes on ahealthy diet, in an environment equally fit for birth, growth, work, healingand dying, healthy people need no bureaucratic interference to mate, givebirth, share the human condition & die”1. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTHEnvironmental health is a branchof public health and is concerned with all aspects of the natural and builtenvironment that may affect human health.
Environmental health has been definedin a 1999 document by WHO as ” Those aspects of human health and disease thatare determined by factors in the environment. It also refers to the theory andpractice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that canpotentially effect health “2.Environmental health as used by the WHO regional office for Europe includesboth the direct pathological effects of chemicals, radiations, and somebiological agents and the effects (often indirect) on health and wellbeing ofthe broad physical, psychological, social and cultural environment, whichincludes housing, urban development, land use and transport3.As of 2016 WHO website on Environmental health and states “Environmental healthaddresses all the physical, chemical & biological factors external to aperson & all the related factors impacting behaviors, it encompasses theassessment & control of those environmental factors that can potentiallyeffect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating healthsupportive environments. This definition excludes behavior not related toenvironment as well as behavior related to the social and cultural environment aswell as genetics.4 AIR POLLUTIONAir pollution refers to releaseof pollutant or any harmful substances including particulates & biologicalmolecules into earth atmosphere that are detrimental to human health &planet as a whole.
It may cause diseases, allergies or death of human being andmay also cause harm to other living organism such as animal & food cropsand may damage natural or built environment. To know how polluted air is can bedetermined via Air Quality Index. Indoor air pollution & poor urban qualityare listed as two of the world’s worst toxic pollution problem in the 2008Blacksmith Institute world’s worst polluted places report5. Accordingto the 2014 World Health Organization report, air pollution in 2012 caused thedeaths of around 7 million people worldwide.
6Causes of Air PollutionAir pollution leads to an adverseeffect on human body and ecosystem. The main reason for air pollution is energyuse and the production. As during the energy use there is release of the otherenergy in the environment which are harmful in nature. Burning of fossil fuelsalso leads to air pollution.
Smoking of cigarette and release of many harmfulgases or wastes from the factory in an open leads to air pollution. Many sourcessay that the release of bad gases from the chimneys of the factory leads a lotof air pollution. The No. of vehicles is increasing day by day release a lot ofgas which are harmful and is responsible for air pollution. Carbon dioxidecontributes nearly 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, followed by CH4(14%), nitrous oxides (8%), and flue gases (1%). Out of these, nearly 60% comefrom energy supply, transport, industry, wastes and waste water.
7 The global CO2 emissions from fossil fuelsalone have increased 15-fold between1900-20088. Throwingof the waste things or garbage’s of our home on the road is alson one of thecause of air pollution. It is also the reason behind the Climate change. Therelease of the carbon di oxide & Methane raises the temperature. Smog formswhen weather is warmer and there is more ultraviolet radiation. 1Ivan Illich Quotes, BrainyQuote, https://www.
brainyquote.com/quotes/ivan_illich_404441(last visited Dec 22, 2017).2Health and Environment (HEN), South-East Asia Regional Office,http://www.
searo.who.int/indonesia/topics/ino-hen-2/en/ (last visited Dec 22,2017).
3Novice, Robert (Editor) (1999-03-29) “Overview of the Environmental & Health in Europe in 1990’s ” pdf WHO4WHO (n.d.) “Health topics- EnvironmentalHealth” Retrieved 10-01-2015. 5Reports, worstpolluted.org, archived from the original on 11-08-2010, retrievedon 22-12-201767 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution”. WHO. 25March 2014.
Retrieved 25 March 2014.7T.A.
Boden, G. Marland, and R.J. Andres, “Global, Regional, and NationalFossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions,” Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, OakRidge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.
S.A.doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2010, 2010.8IPCC , “Global emissions from 2004.
Contribution of Working Group Ito the Fourth Assessment Report of theIntergovernmental Panel onClimate Change”, 2007