Environmental health is a discipline of public health that studies how our surroundings affect our physical health. The standards that must be met in order to establish a healthy environment must be determined in order to effectively control issues that may affect health. It includes a wide range of elements, such as air, water, and soil quality, as well as the overall state of the locations where people live, work, and play.
Environmental health seeks to identify and mitigate environmental elements that may have a negative impact on human health and well-being. Environmental science, toxicology, environmental epidemiology, and environmental and occupational medicine are the key sub-disciplines of environmental health.
Key aspects of environmental health include:
- Air Quality: Air quality is being monitored and improved in order to limit exposure to pollutants such as particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and gases such as carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. Air pollution can cause respiratory problems, cardiovascular illness, and other health problems.
- Water Quality: Making certain that drinking water sources and recreational water bodies are safe and clean. Waterborne illnesses and other health issues can be caused by contaminated water.
- Food Safety: Foodborne illnesses caused by pollutants, pathogens, and poisons in food are prevented by monitoring the safety of the food supply chain.
- Vector Control: Controlling disease vectors like mosquitoes, ticks, and rodents to prevent the spread of vector-borne diseases like malaria, Zika virus, and Lyme disease.
- Occupational Health: Protecting the health and safety of workers by identifying and mitigating workplace hazards, including exposure to chemicals, noise, and ergonomic issues.
- Climate Change and Health: Assessing and addressing the health impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events, heatwaves, and the spread of diseases influenced by changing environmental conditions.
Promoting healthy and safe housing, as well as community planning, to decrease exposure to environmental risks and to build surroundings that encourage physical activity and mental well-being. Managing and regulating the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals and materials in order to prevent pollution and potential health concerns.
Environmental health specialists, such as epidemiologists, toxicologists, environmental scientists, and public health authorities, conduct study, regulate, and educate the public about environmental elements and their effects on human health. Their efforts contribute to disease prevention and the development of overall well-being by creating safer and healthier surroundings.