Health and the Environment

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Environment & HealthBecause of the permanent interaction between man and his environment, our health is to a considerable extent determined by the environmental quality. As a consequence, environment and health are closely related. The environment in which we live, work and relax, is determining for our health and well-being. Physical, as well as chemical and micro(biological) factors in the environment can have repercussions on our health, both physically and mentally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of health emphasizes the physical, mental and social well-being: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Health is considered as an overall concept reaching beyond the absence of illness and ailments. Well-being and quality of life are subject to an impressive number of factors, including psychological, social and environment-related aspects. In addition to positive influences such as green belts and entertainment areas, it is also important to identify the negative factors, such as noise, odour and light nuisance. However, the relation between environment and health is extremely complex. Although many health problems are taught to be associated with environmental pollution, it is difficult to assess the seriousness, extent and causes of environment-related diseases. Besides environmental-related causes, there are other factors which can directly or indirectly lead to the same health problems. Moreover, a causal connection between health effects and e.g. distribution of specific substances in the environment is often hardly or not demonstrable. The specific contribution of each of the different causes of health problems is difficult to determine.  

Broader definition of "environment"Our health is to a large extent determined by the quality of our environment, both indoor as outdoor.  
The impact on our health not only involves the consequences of air, ground and...
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