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5 major environmental health problems

Environmental Health

5 major environmental health problems

Global environmental health initiative spearheaded under World Health Organization (WHO) is focused on improving environmental health of the community; prevention of disease epidemics, infant and child mortality and morbidity rates in developing countries.Recent UN (United Nation) report has pointed out that the planet will suffer drastically from global warming withoutunprecedented changesin actions and behaviour.

Environmental Health

Environmental health involves evaluating and examining the effects of man-made chemicals on human health orwildlife, impacts on ecological systems and spread of illnesses or diseases. Insulation of environmental and human health systems entails grasping the effects of human-made and environmental vulnerabilities or hazards. Increasing attention targeted on the impact of environmental health extends to public healthcare and the health of the global economy. Addressing and encompassing assessment and control of all external agents of chemical, biological or physical origin and other related factors with behavioural impact that potentially affect health is essential. The target remains on creating health-supportive environment and disease prevention programs which excludes genetic behaviour, social and cultural environment.

Major Health Problems

All types of pollution and environmental concerns are interlinked to influence one another, hence need to be tackled all together. Various stakeholders along with the community have to work together to reduce the environmental impact on public health.

1) Climate change

is caused by greenhouse gases that trap heat from the sun and warms the surface of the earth; increase in oceanic temperatures that affects marine habitat and ecosystems; rise in global sea levels that accounts for shrinking land, mass floods and freak weather incidents across the world.

2) Pollution

is one of the primary causes for environmental concerns related to climatic change and biodiversity. All types of water, air, soil, radioactive, noise, light and thermal pollution affect the environment. Polluting and degrading air, soil and water quality along with global warming and climatic change has detrimental effects on public health. Water and air pollution is a huge concern causing financial strain and danger to human and marine life. Implementation of laws and strict regulation along with educating people on the causes and effects of pollution can avoid damage to valuable resources.

3) Deforestation

involves destroying plants and trees which provide oxygen, food, water and medicine to the public. Natural wildfires, illegal logging, agricultural practices and harvesting of mass amount of timber for commercial use are decreasing forests, reducing oxygen supply and increasing greenhouse gas emissions at an alarming rate. Biodiversity includes essentially most complex and vital feature of ecosystem that makes up the environment which is in danger with the increase in global warming, pollution and deforestation.

4) Disease

mitigation and control is one main aspect affecting environmental health making radio logical, occupational andindustrial hygiene; safedrinking water; control of vector-borne, communicable and non-communicable diseases necessary.

5)Hazardous waste

management, hazardous materialmanagement,waste disposal systems, contaminated site remediation, prevention of leakage of underground storage tanks, emergency responses and prevention of release of hazardous materials into the environment has become essential. Improvingwaste managementsystems can prevent the possibility of polluting natural resources or triggering the spread of illnesses. Global industrialization is revolutionizing public living standards that require proper hygiene and handling of waste items. The techniques and materials related to industrial progress are often linked to infectious diseases.


Education programs have been initiated to create awareness and disseminate information on public health hygiene; effects of climatic change, pollution, deforestation and other environmental concerns.

Online Environmental Health Course at JLI

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides online program – Advanced PG Diploma in Environmental Health Management to train professionals manage concerns and issues related to environmental health. JLI also provides courses in occupational health, public health, maternal and child health, tropical medicine, clinical research, pharmacovigilance and allied specialties.
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