Relationship Between Health and Environment

We are living in a world of contrasts. Scientific and technological progress has brought advanced health care system; many diseases today that were fatal in the past, if not eradicated, are brought under control. As a contrast, people living in developed countries are suffering from cardiovascular diseases and cancer associated with inappropriate diet and stressful life.

Industrial revolution brought social and technological development, but also introduced pollution on large-scale. With modern industry things have just got worse. When the extent of industry was limited, contamination area was reduced to immediate vicinity affecting health and safety of those workers directly involved in production. In a modern global society we live in today this problem has become, well, “global”. The toxic that is most common in our environment is lead; it is used in vaccines, pesticides, antiperspirants, building materials, gas and even found in drinking water. If we think about global population growth and its growing needs and industry relying on components that are toxic, we can assume that industrial development has a devastating impact on environment and public health.

In the past, diseases were attributed to meteorological events such as changes in the seasons, storms and eclipses. Some societies linked disease to corrupt or polluted air from corpses, swamps and other sources. In prehistoric times people believed that evil spirits or God caused people to become ill. By the 16th and 17th centuries connection between health and environment had become commonly recognized. Fresh air and elimination of bad smells were considered important, and a healthy environment was thought to produce healthy food and drink. Earth was respected as a living, breathing body that needed to be nurtured and protected.