Sidra Sarwer, Green Blogger

Promote health for all through a healthy environment

Environmental degradation is the disintegration of the earth or deterioration of the environment through the consumption of assets, for example air, water and soil, the destruction of environments and the eradication of wildlife. It is defined as any change or disturbance to environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. It occurs when the Earth’s natural resources are depleted and the environment is compromised in the form of extinction of species, pollution in the air, water soil and rapid growth in population. Environmental degradation is one of the largest threats that are being looked at in the world today.

Environmental degradation can happen in several ways. At the point when environments are wrecked or common assets are exhausted, the environment is corrupted and harmed like

·         Land And Soil Degradation

Degradation of soil quality from poor farming practices, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides leakage from landfills etc.

·         Water Degradation

Pollution of water from trash dumped in oceans illegal dumping ,disposal of large amounts of industrial waste into nearby rivers or lakes etc.

·         Atmospheric Degradation

This includes air degradation ,particle  pollution and the depletion of the ozone  layer. Several other kinds of pollution :apart from land ,water and atmospheric degradation many other kinds of pollution such as noise pollution that are part of environmental degradation.

Causes Of Environmental Degradation

·         Land disturbance

·          Pollution

·         Over population

·         Landfills

·         Deforestation

Effects Of Environmental Degradation On Human Health

Human health might be at the receiving end because of environmental degradation .Areas exposed to toxic air pollutants can cause respiratory problems like pneumonia and asthma.

Humans interact with the environment constantly. These interactions affect quality of life, years of healthy life lived, and health disparities. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines environment, as it relates to health, as “all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related behaviors.” Environmental health consists of preventing or controlling disease, injury, and disability related to the interactions between people and their environment.

Creating healthy environments can be complex and relies on continuing research to better understand the effects of exposure to environmental hazards on people’s health.

Why Is Environmental Health Important?

Maintaining a healthy environment is central to increasing quality of life and years of healthy life. Globally, 23% of all deaths and 26% of deaths among children under age 5 are due to preventable environmental factors. Environmental factors are diverse and far reaching. They include:

·         Exposure to hazardous substances in the air, water, soil, and food

·         Natural and technological disasters

·         Climate change

·         Occupational hazards

·         The built environment

Poor environmental quality has its greatest impact on people whose health status is already at risk. Therefore, environmental health must address the societal and environmental factors that increase the likelihood of exposure and disease.

Understanding Environmental Health    

Poor air quality is linked to premature death, cancer, and long-term damage to respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Progress has been made to reduce unhealthy air emissions, but in 2008, approximately 127 million people lived in U.S counties that exceeded national air quality standards. 
Surface and ground water quality concerns apply to both drinking water and recreational waters. Contamination by infectious agents or chemicals can cause mild to severe illness. Protecting water sources and minimizing exposure to contaminated water sources are important parts of environmental health.

The health effects of toxic substances and hazardous wastes are not yet fully understood. Research to better understand how these exposures may impact health is ongoing. Meanwhile, efforts to reduce exposures continue. Reducing exposure to toxic substances and hazardous wastes is fundamental to environmental health.
People spend most of their time at home, work, or school. Some of these environments may expose people to:

·         Indoor air pollution

·         Inadequate heating and sanitation

·         Structural problems

·         Electrical and fire hazards

·         Lead-based paint hazards

Water quality is an important global challenge. Diseases can be reduced by improving water quality and sanitation and increasing access to adequate water and sanitation facilities.

Emerging Issues in Environmental Health

Environmental health is a dynamic and evolving field. While not all complex environmental issues can be predicted, some known emerging issues in the field include:
Climate change is projected to impact sea level, patterns of infectious disease, air quality, and the severity of natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and storms.
Every year, hundreds of new chemicals are introduced to the U.S. market. It is presumed that some of these chemicals may present new, unexpected challenges to human health, and their safety should be evaluated prior to release.

These cross-cutting issues are not yet understood well enough to inform the development of systems for measuring and tracking their impact. Further exploration is warranted.
As of 2017, there are approximately 4 million houses or buildings that have children living in them who are potentially being exposed to lead. Nearly half a million U.S. children ages 1 to 5 have blood lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), which is currently the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be taken.

 Even blood lead exposure levels as low as 2 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) can affect a child’s cognitive function. Since no safe blood lead level have been identified for children, any exposure should be taken seriously. However, since lead exposure often occurs with no obvious signs or symptoms, it often remains unrecognized. CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is committed to the Healthy People 2020 goals of eliminating childhood lead exposures and decreasing disparities in the differences in average risk of lead exposure based on race and social class as public health concern. I think Government should take action 1st one deforestation  and assign to take fines and punishment for illegal dumping reduce consumption levels and reuse and reduce waste generation and avoid plastics. And education should start early in school and children eager to learn new things and change behavior compared to adult.

About the Author: Sidra Sarwer is a student of Environment at Department Environmental sciences at GCWUS. She is a CBN writer, News reporter, Green blogger, Humanity lover and Content writer.