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Ecosocial Approach: Air Quality and Toxic Exposure

Kreiger’s ecosocial approach highlights racial and ethnic discrimination and social research’s importance. Nancy Krieger introduced the ecosocial framework, which investigates how various historical, ecological, and social factors influence public health, such as economic inequality. Briefly, the ecosocial framework identifies the incorporation of racial inequality and its effects on health inequalities. Thus, the framework methods explore discrimination as a phenomenon that influences people when considering historical generations and the life course (Krieger 936). For instance, according to the ecosocial theory, disease distribution depends rather on social inequalities and socially inherited histories rather than only inheritance.

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Moreover, the theory requires considering the historical period, spatial expanse, and micro to macro components (Kreiger 936). For instance, micro phenomena can relate to the virus or microbe analysis, while macro factors are associated with social organizing to address health inequalities. Essentially, the ecosocial approach focuses on both population-level and individual-level determinants of health and interventions. Moreover, it considers issues that are community-based and not just individually focused. Therefore, it is crucial to think historically and economically for analyzing and objecting to health injustices.

Air quality

One of the severe environmental issues in Pakistan is air quality. The case study presented by Caylee Hong illustrates the air population in the second-most populous city in Pakistan, namely Lahore, as a significant public health issue. Air pollution seriously affects health and causes irreversible illnesses in residents. As stated in the case study, residents are forced to use particular applications, such as AirVisual, that show them the level of air pollution each day (Hong 6). The polluted air in Lahore leads to many complaints of headaches and burning eyes; on some days, the air pollution levels overreach the legal limit (Khan).

The polluted air in Lahore leads to many complaints of headaches and burning eyes; on some days, the air pollution levels overreach the legal limit (Khan). Krieger argues (937) that the disease’s spread cannot be reduced only by the disease identification mechanism because the mechanism of the illness does not explain why the indicators change in the most complex way as a consequence of the time and place.

When analyzing the problem by applying the ecosocial framework, the author aims to emphasize the historical and economic aspects. For instance, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, states that the air pollution problem results from previous government mistakes (Khan). Consequently, Imran Khan affirms that the air quality monitoring stations did not operate due to a lack of finance and capacities. In addition, Kreiger argues that the epidemiological characteristics of society are shaped by way of life provided by the current and changing social structure of government (937). The country’s economic situation strongly affects air quality, as developing countries like Pakistan have much worse air quality than developed countries.

In the overwhelming majority, the problems lie in the complete absence of urban planning. Terrible traffic jams and cars are one of the primary sources of air pollution; in industrial zones, the problem relates to the direct savings on treatment facilities and the lack of sufficient forest plantations and green vegetation in cities. The state cannot provide the appropriate equipment, services, or they are not able to solve this kind of problem. Consequently, residents suffer from air pollution and are more susceptible to disease. The country’s economy, namely, the fact that the state does not allocate sufficient financial resources to carry out the relevant activities, leads to dire consequences of public health.

Toxic exposure

Mold relates to toxic exposure and can be dangerous to human health. Mold spores move between and within outdoor and indoor environments and may cause headaches, asthma, and many various health issues (Kenner 2). Ali Kenner illustrates a case study on mold in Philadelphia because it has a warm and wet climate suitable for mold development and expansion. Notably, mold in houses is an essential issue as mold is dangerous to the health of family members.

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People buying affordable housing often have asthma because mold in their homes negatively affects the respiratory tract (Kenner 6). Kenner argues that the issue of mold in living quarters is related to Philadelphia’s policies. Consequently, the government must pay special attention to the housing issue in order to prevent negative consequences for the health of residents. One solution is the Community Asthma Prevention Program, which provides help and support to residents with basic home repairs and mold growth (Kenner 6).

This study shows that diseases often develop due to discrimination and unequal conditions among residents. By following the biosocial framework, people embody their experiences in a social and ecological context, thereby creating population models of health and disease (Kreiger 937). Moreover, asthma in Philadelphia affects public health, and the problem is rooted in the affordable housing crisis. Crucially, discrimination of people based on financial opportunities and social factors leads to diseases developing in the population. To conclude, only the state can provide necessary programs and safe living conditions for residents to prevent an epidemic in this case.

Works Cited

Krieger, Nancy. “Methods for the Scientific Study of Discrimination and Health: An Ecosocial Approach.” American journal of public health, vol 102, no. 5, 2012, pp. 936-944.

Hong, Caylee. “Visualize-ing Air: Data, Icons, and Translations of Smog in Lahore.” Member Voices, Fieldsights, 2020. Web.

Kenner, Ali. 2019. “Mold.” Theorizing the Contemporary, Fieldsights, 2019. Web.

Khan, Rina Saeed. “How Pakistan is Tackling its Air Pollution?” World Economic Forum. 2019. Web.

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