Five Ways Environmental Factors Can Impact Community Health
Living in a community entails if one factor is impacting one of us, it will affect all of us. We share space and the environment. If our environment is polluted, then there is a high chance we all get sick. The public health sector is concerned about ensuring the public is safe and healthy at all times, which is why they are pouring resources into research that can benefit us. If we study the environment in-depth, many factors are impacting community health. These include air, water, and land. When these essential resources get affected, there is a high chance of the population getting sick. Here are some ways in which environmental factors affect our health:
- Air Pollution
Air pollution can happen because of numerous reasons. However, the most common sense is burning fuels that release toxic fumes into the atmosphere. These fumes harm your lungs and make breathing difficult. Too much pollution can cause smog. Smog is a thick fog that is detrimental to health. It makes breathing difficult and introduces diseases like bronchitis and emphysema. In some people, it may cause asthma and make them lifelong asthma patients. Public health officials are on the hunt for ways to filter the air and alternate fuel sources.
Moreover, the need for public health professionals is increasing rapidly. That is the reason individuals are attracted to this field. Therefore, aspirants can opt for MPH online degree and help communities in dealing with various environmental issues. Fortunately, online education allows them to continue their studies from the comfort of their homes.
- Chemical Pollutants
All around us, different people are using different chemicals. Some use chemicals for cleaning, while others use them as part of their manufacturing process. As humans, our body doesn't react well to these chemicals. They can impact us in many ways. Some chemicals are highly corrosive and can cause chemical burns, which are hard to recover from. Some substances can irritate the nasopharyngeal passage causing it difficult to breathe and even causing lung problems. Some chemicals can cause unpleasant reactions if they are ingested.
Chemicals can even cause skin rashes and irritation in the eyes. The list of hazards is endless. Communities that live near chemical waste dumps have a high chance of exposure. Chemicals can cause mutation. The next generation of children born within these communities has a chance of having disabilities. Public health officials are highly involved in these areas trying to detect the number of biohazards flowing here. They may also recommend community members to get toxicology reports on their blood work to figure out how high the exposure is.
- Diseases Through Food
Humans need to eat food that is safe and healthy. Vegetables need to be fresh and come from rich and healthy soil to avoid contamination. The same goes for milk and dairy. Milk needs to get pasteurized, while meat needs to go from a healthy animal. When these basic requirements are not met, it's easy to get sick. Diseases such as typhoid and hepatitis can come from unclean food. Both illnesses are painful to deal with. They can cause vomiting with painful stomach aches.
In some cases, if the child is young and comes down with these diseases, it can become fatal. Dehydration is another problem that comes from an increased loss of body fluids. In addition to these, malnourishment can also come around as a side effect of these diseases. Microbes such as E. coli which are found in many food sources, do more than make you sick. It can give you urinary tract infections and even respiratory problems, which are painful to get and can progressively get worse.
- Water Pollution
Water is an essential life requirement. We can't survive without water. More than 70% of our body is water. So when water sources are depleted and dehydration kicks in, survival becomes difficult. Water pollution also includes unclean and unsafe water. In some areas, people drink unfiltered water. Contaminated water can cause cholera which is both a painful and complex disease to go through. Water pollution can also become lethal. It can directly impact the immune system of the population, making them prone to more infections. When you're losing more water than you're drinking, your body will get starved for water. If you don't get hydrated through alternate means, then it can become fatal.
- Poor Disposal of Medical waste
Medical waste can't go into the garbage like regular trash. There are specific channels designed to help get rid of medical trash. These include expired medicine, syringes, and even scalpels. Using medical equipment that is contaminated can introduce a series of diseases. Wounds from contaminated sources can cause tetanus in the population. Syringes that get passed around can escalate the speeding of illnesses such as HIV. Medicines can lead to accidental overdosing. It is why the public health sector also needs to pay attention to medical supply disposal.
The public health sector is concerned with the health of the community. However, pollution on land, air, and water make it challenging to keep the population safe. In addition, the lack of proper medical equipment disposal and infrastructure also contributes to the declining health of patients. These factors push the healthcare sector into a severe spiral. The public health sector works tirelessly to help patients. Still, it can get complicated with the increasing cases and lack of facilities.