Environmental Health and Health Effects of Environment

Abstract

Environmental change has both beneficial and severe effects on human well-being. Some effects of environmental change are easy to detect, while others are hard to identify. Studies show that environmental changes result in the establishment of conditions that support deadly diseases. For example, floods encourage the breeding of mosquitoes that contribute to the outbreak of dengue fever and malaria.

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Besides, particulate matters like solid particles impact human health. Numerous environmental factors influence people’s health. They include drought, floods, and heatwaves. People have the duty to ensure that they establish an environment that does not support the proliferation of health hazards. For instance, humans have an obligation to curb drought by planting trees and building water pans and dams. Further, efficient use of water can go a long way towards moderating drought.

Introduction

Many people use transformations in the physical environment to construe environmental changes. The physical changes include melting icecaps, storms, and rising sea levels. Research indicates that environmental changes impact human health both positively and negatively. Haines et al. (2006) allege that ordinary citizens, scientists, politicians, and medical personnel grapple with the effects of environmental changes on human well-being.

Scientists and physicians cannot ascertain the impacts of environmental changes on human health because of the various factors that are at play. In spite of the challenges associated with ascertainment of the effects of environmental changes, it is blatant that the changes have devastating repercussions. The effects of environmental changes are anticipated to rise due to the increase in environmental pollution.

Haines et al. (2006) maintain that environmental transformations have direct and indirect effects on human well-being. Every individual has a duty to protect the environment as a measure to promote healthy living. This article will discuss the effects of environmental transformation on human health. Besides, it will analyze the environmental conditions that impact the well-being of people. The article will culminate by identifying the roles that an individual can play to avert environmental conditions that have adverse effects on human health.

Synopsis

Haines et al. (2006) argue that human health and environmental changes are strongly interrelated. Changes in the environment result in the outbreak of fatal illnesses. Besides, environmental transformations lead to the rise of copious threats to human well-being. Research shows that every year, over five million people suffer from different diseases that are attributed to environmental changes.

Furthermore, at least 200,000 people die due to conditions associated with environmental changes (Haines et al., 2006). Environmental transformations cause variations in grain patterns, heat waves, floods, and the outbreak of water-borne diseases, which have a high toll on human health. According to Haines et al. (2006), a lasting environmental change has diverse impacts on people’s health. In the United States, the number of patients who suffer from respiratory complications has increased significantly over the last ten years (Kovats & Hajat, 2010).

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Health practitioners claim that environmental changes have resulted in an increase of particulate matter in the atmosphere, which, when inhaled, causes respiratory infections. They allege that people are at risk of contracting several illnesses in the future unless environmentalists, the government, and ordinary citizens take measures to reduce the rate of environmental changes. Nowadays, abrupt changes in temperatures result in heat waves and cold spells. The heat waves cause fatal health conditions such as heat stress and hypothermia.

The increase in the number of people who suffer from malnutrition and mental health can be attributed to environmental transformations (Haines et al., 2006). Health specialists claim that there is no direct correlation between mental health and environmental changes. The doctors are currently investigating the relationship between environmental transformations and mental well-being. Research indicates that individuals who experience severe environmental conditions like drought suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders, which may degenerate into mental illnesses. On the other hand, health officials draw a direct relationship between environmental changes and malnutrition.

Kovats and Hajat (2010) aver that environmental transformations result in severe weather conditions that do not support the growth of food crops. Eventually, people experience food shortage that causes malnutrition. The rise of intermittent drought and floods in West Africa has impacted food production in the region. Consequently, a majority of the West Africans suffer from malnutrition. Some environmental changes have positive effects on human health. For instance, moderate temperatures have significant importance to the aged. Individuals who live in temperate areas do not experience the severe effects of winter.

Environmental Factors that Affect Health

Many environmental factors influence human health both directly and indirectly. According to Kovats and Hajat (2010), environmental changes result in damaging chemicals and particles that are either deposited on the soil or suspended in the atmosphere. An example of the environmental factor that impacts human health is particulate matter. The particulate matter includes solid particles and liquid drops that are suspended in the air.

Research shows that particulate matter has diverse impacts on human health. For instance, exposure to pollen grains causes respiratory problems. On the other hand, children who are exposed to lead suffer from cognitive impairment. In Missouri, children show erudition and behavioral challenges because of exposure to lead. A study of the children from the area revealed that they had a low intelligence quotient (IQ) compared to kids from other states. Additionally, the children suffered from hearing problems. Beniston (2006) maintains that it is difficult to detect exposure to lead. Hence, it may have devastating impacts on the victims.

Beniston (2006) identifies storms and floods as other environmental factors that have adverse effects on the health of an individual. Storms and floods have both permanent and temporary impacts on human health. Excessive floods may damage water treatment plants leading to contamination. In return, water pollution may result in an outbreak of diseases like gastroenteritis. On the other hand, storms and floods can lead to power interruption that might cause food spoilage. Besides, power interruption may result in food adulteration, which can have devastating impacts on human health.

According to Beniston (2006), drought is an environmental factor that has numerous effects on people’s health. Chivian and Bernstein (2008) claim that drought does not have direct effects on people’s health. Instead, it affects human health indirectly. For example, it leads to a decrease in the availability of clean water, therefore establishing a condition that promotes vector-borne diseases. Scientists claim that drought contributes to people suffering from mental challenges. According to Chivian and Bernstein (2008), drought is associated with socioeconomic problems that plunge people into mental diseases. Moreover, drought causes starvation that claims the lives of many people. As a result, the affected relatives suffer from emotional distress.

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My Role in Elimination of Environmental Barriers to Health

Individuals have diverse roles in the elimination of environmental hurdles that affect human health. For instance, responsible use of the available water may help to overcome drought. Failure to procure water meters contributes to wastage of water, which results in drought. The state of California is unable to fight drought due to wastage of water. A majority of the households do not have water meters.

Consequently, it is hard for the state to regulate the amount of water that each family uses. Erection of dykes and planting of trees are some of the ways that individuals can use to mitigate the impacts of floods. Additionally, one may build multiple water pans along the main channel to reduce the force of floodwaters. Flood mitigation should be a communal undertaking. Every person has a role to play in flood relief. Encouraging people to plant trees can help to minimize floods.

Being conscious of the family’s diet and hygiene can contribute to reducing the dangers of exposure to lead. Health professionals allege that excessive consumption of fats exposes individuals to the risk of lead assimilation. One can reduce the possibility of lead poisoning by checking on the amount of fat that a family consumes. Installation of box fans and ceilings can help to mitigate the effects of heatwaves. Individuals can reduce heatwaves by switching off electrical appliances when they are not in use.

Summary and Conclusion

Environmental transformations have beneficial and detrimental effects on human health. Scientists allege that environmental changes cause an increase in temperature, which results in the rise in fatal illnesses. Storms, floods, heatwaves, drought, and particulate matter are some environmental factors that affect human health. Construction of water pans, dams, dykes, and planting of trees can resolve the challenge of floods. Conversely, responsible usage of water can help to curb drought. Installation of box fans and switching off electric appliances can reduce heatwaves.

References

Beniston, M. (2006). Climatic change: Possible impacts on human health. Swiss Medical Weekly, 132(2), 332-337.

Chivian, E., & Bernstein, A. (2008). Sustaining life: How human health depends on biodiversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Haines, A., Kovats, R., Campbell-Lendrum, D., & Corvalan, C. (2006). Climate change and human health: Impacts, vulnerability and public health. Public Health, 120(7), 585-596.

Kovats, R., & Hajat, S. (2010). Heat stress and public health: A critical review. Annual Review of Public Health, 29(1), 19-32.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, April 28). Environmental Health and Health Effects of Environment. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/environmental-health-and-health-effects-of-environment/

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"Environmental Health and Health Effects of Environment." StudyCorgi, 28 Apr. 2021, studycorgi.com/environmental-health-and-health-effects-of-environment/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Environmental Health and Health Effects of Environment." April 28, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/environmental-health-and-health-effects-of-environment/.


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StudyCorgi. "Environmental Health and Health Effects of Environment." April 28, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/environmental-health-and-health-effects-of-environment/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Environmental Health and Health Effects of Environment." April 28, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/environmental-health-and-health-effects-of-environment/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Environmental Health and Health Effects of Environment'. 28 April.

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