Environmental Health in Gaza Strip Definitions :-
Sanitation may be defined as the control of those factors of the environment affecting public health. It is apparent that the fundamental principles will be found in the science of bacteriology, biology, entomology, chemistry .
* Definition of Environmental Health by WHO
Environmental health comprises those aspects of human health, including quality of life, that are determined by physical, chemical, biological, social and psychosocial factors in the environment. It also refers to the theory and practice of assessing, correcting, controlling and preventing those factors in the environment that can potentially affect adversely the health of present and future generations.
* Definition of Environmental Health by CDC
refers to protection against environmental factors that may adversely impact human health or the ecological balances essential to long-term human health and environmental quality, whether in the natural or man-made environment.
* Definition of Environmental Health by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 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. The priorities of the Environmental Health lie in areas related to contamination of the environment and the possible adverse effects of environmental pollutants on human health.
Environmental health problems in Gaza strip :
1-Water quality and quantity.
2- Waste water.
4- Pesticides and toxic substances pollution.
5- Air pollution and Food hygiene.
* Sources of water :-
1- The underground water is the main source of water in Gaza Strip. Wells are used to get the underground water. 2- Raining water is used in West Bank. The water is collected in private store under each house. The family uses this water during all the year. 3- Surface water could be from rivers or lakes.
* Water pollution :-
Types of water pollution:
1- Organic wastes from domestics.
2- Infectious agents contributed by domestic sewage.
3- Plant nutrients as algae.
4- Synthetic organic chemicals as pesticides, detergents…
5- Inorganic chemicals and minerals substances.
6- Sediments that fill stream channels and reservoirs.
7- Radio – active pollution.
* Health Hazards of Water :-
- Water Sources in Gaza Strip are subjected to excessive over- exploitation and over - pumping , this has led to degradation of water quality in Gaza Strip , where severe water shortage (about 50 MCM / year) are experienced and where the situation has become catastrophic. - Water Pollution with different pollutants (Salinity such as Chloride and Nitrate and Micro - pollutants such as Pesticides, Fertilizers & Detergents). - For example chloride and nitrate concentration in some
wells reaches more than 1500 and 100 ppm respectively.
- 90 % of Gaza Strip water samples were found to contain nitrate concentrations that were between two and eight times higher than the limit recommended by the (WHO). - the influences in the health : In babies younger than six months, nitrate can lead to methaemoglobinaemia , to diarrhea and to acidosis. The WHO recommends keeping nitrate levels to 50 mg/ L or less. - protection : the best protection would be provided by quality management for groundwater resources.
Gaza Strip produced about 35 MCM / Year sewage water. Unfortunately about 50% the raw sewage is discharged untreated in the Mediterranean Sea where the biological oxygen demand increases. Sewage networks cover no more than 70 % of total residential areas in the Gaza Strip. So far, there is no adequate sewage collection and treatment facilities where use of septic tanks to drain waste water is still widespread thus...
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