Environmental Health Sciences can be defined as the assessment, evaluation and control of chemical, physical and biological hazards in order to protect public health. The sanitary revolution began in the late 1800s when it was determined that basic environmental sanitation and hygiene were necessary to prevent communicable diseases. Sewage disposal and water quality control were necessary to prevent diseases like cholera.
Today environmental health science is concerned with more global issues due to expanding populations. Such issues are: the pandemic flu and West Nile Virus. Also, global warming and ozone depletion are probably the two major global environmental health issues today, but yet the most controversial. The environmental health scientist must be well prepared to evaluate such controversial issues, as the ramifications do affect public health.
With globalization and exponential advancement in technology, the environmental health scientist must have broad knowledge of health sciences, not just sewage disposal and water quality control. An advanced degree in public health (MPH) provides the necessary general background as well as specific environmental health science knowledge. Continue reading “The Expanding Field of Environmental Health Sciences”
Global warming, unsafe drinking water, poor air quality inside and outside and contaminated food supplies, those are just some of the big environmental health problems we are currently experiencing. These problems may seem very overwhelming, it may seem inevitable and unavoidable, but it is us who have all the power to prevent or fix these problems. It is us who have all the power to decrease pollution, limit our exposure, and most importantly, strengthen our bodies and environmental systems in order to resist contamination.
Decrease pollution: Try to improve your quality of life by decreasing your contribution to pollution. A good example would be to turn down the thermostat during winter time; doing so will decrease carbon dioxide emissions and also improve the quality of indoor air.
Using HVAC (Heating Ventilating & Air Conditioning ) on high levels will redistribute contaminants inside a building. To avoid using HVACs try and wear appropriate clothing for the temperature. For example, instead of turning up the heater during cold days, just wear a thick jacket in order to save electricity; you won’t just save electricity, but your body’s immune system will be strengthened and it will be trained to live in rhythm with nature.
Safe pesticides and cleaners: While it is recommended to avoid pesticides completely, if you should use them, use biodegradable and safe pesticides. When it comes to cleaning agents, you should also use biodegradable and safe cleaning agents. In cleaning your house, it is best to limit the use of chemicals to prevent contaminants from getting inside. Biodegradable products will also keep your water supplies safe for drinking. Continue reading “Solving Environmental Health Problems”
Recently I came across an article on thinning of Ozone layer due to passage of water vapor into the atmosphere. The thunderstorms occurring on earth can cause seepage of water vapor through a cyclic current into the lower strata of stratosphere. This water vapor acts as a catalyst to the chemical reaction of chlorofluorocarbons the harmful substances that cause weakening of ozone layer. The chlorofluorocarbons can destroy ozone layer through a chain reaction with the ozone. The materials got a ban that caused evaporation of the chlorofluorocarbons due to their harmful effect on the layer. Evaporation of such harmful substances can cause destruction of the layer more rapidly with water vapor from the thunderstorms. This is really a ring of alarm for the global environment.
This new finding in itself provides an idea of what cost can we pay if global warming is not controlled immediately. Ozone is a life blanket that envelopes the earth and prevents harmful ultraviolet rays from entering into the earth’s atmosphere. These ultraviolet rays once entered into the earth can cause skin cancer and can prove harmful to human health. Therefore, protection of ozone layer is critical to our very existence. The above cited recent finding by the scientists of theory of destruction of ozone from thunderstorms raises more concerns about our global environmental protection.
The occurring of thunderstorms is a natural phenomenon that occurs everywhere on the world. But how this natural phenomenon can cause environmental destruction was unforeseen in the past. But due to continuous carbonation of atmosphere by humans this is possible. The effects of this pollution caused by humans are in large proportions than one can imagine. It is necessary that such large effects caused by such factors be reported to environmental activists and people worldwide so that we become conscious of the harmful effects that could be caused by our day-to-day activities. A sense of awareness about the environment is crucial.