Environmental Health

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What is Environmental Health?

Environmental health is the branch of public health that is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health. It also refers to the theory and practice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that can potentially affect health.

Environmental Health is the field of science that studies how the environment influences human health and disease. “Environment,” in this context, means things in the natural environment like air, water and soil, and also all the physical, chemical, biological and social features of our surroundings. The man-made, or “built,” environment includes physical structures where people live and work such as homes, offices, schools, farms and factories, as well as community systems such as roads and transportation systems, land use practices and waste management. Consequences of human alteration to the natural environment, such as air pollution, are also parts of the man-made environment. The social environment encompasses lifestyle factors like diet and exercise, socioeconomic status, and other societal influences that may affect health.

The Media of Environmental Hazards

• Air, water and food are the major environmental media or vectors through which exposure to hazardous environmental agents occur. • Disease Vectors - mosquitoes, rats, birds
• Additionally, fire in the form of incineration has emerged as a major and somewhat controversial issue in environmental medicine. • While soil is often overlooked as a route of exposure, in some cases such an oversight may result in a critical underestimate of actual exposure. • Home gardens may be an exposure route dermal or through inhalation to contaminants in soil, dust, or chemical update in the plants.

How do chemicals enter the environment?

• There are six ways in which hazardous substances can enter the environment. •...
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