Environmental health is informed by all physical, biological, psychological and chemical factors and their impact on the well being of people, plants and other animals in an ecosystem. It enshrines all possible solutions geared towards disease and contamination prevention and realization of spaces free of disease causative agents (Bhattacharya, Mukherjee, & Gallud, 2016). Various steps have been made towards realization of environmental health including stringent policies on pollution, recycling of waste materials, use of green energy and carbon credits etc. Human beings rely on the environment for survival. Therefore the quality of life and life span are purely reliant on the environment.
Achievement of a healthy environment status relies on a number of parameters including; elimination of harmful substances present in food, water, air and soil, mediation of climate change and elimination of occupational hazards (Richard , 2003). Sound investment to ensure environmental sanity has had far reaching effects. Thus, capacity building in environmental health, through awareness and best practice has ensured predictability; rapid recovery and restoration from environmental shocks (Richard , 2003) associated with pollution, disasters and extraneous human activity. Poverty alleviation, increased resources security and reduction in risk of infections are some benefits of maintaining a healthy environment. Healthy nations are working nations.
Environmental best practice guarantees food security and bio-diversity hence alleviating malnutrition, disease and mortality. Through these practices, the water cycle and the carbon cycle are maintained at equilibrium. This balance forms the building block of tranquility and life. These cyclic restoration processes cultivate a healthy environment for socio-cultural and leisure activities. An imbalance in the water and carbon cycles is recipe for droughts, flooding; global warming due to overproduction of green house gases (Bhattacharya, Mukherjee, & Gallud, 2016), hunger, poverty and disease.
Improvements made in recent history in the heath sector have lessened the burden of disease and suffering to the patients. These improvements are responsible for the rise in life expectancy from 45 years to 70 years within 30 years (Richard , 2003)and a decline of infant mortality and morbidity rates by over 45% (Bhattacharya, Mukherjee, & Gallud, 2016). Equally milestones achieved in environmental health have produced corresponding advances in health results including economic and monetary reprieve for industry players and patients. Millennium development goals, whose purpose was to; reduce carbon emissions, ensure provision of clean water, and reduce prevalence of disease, have been achieved. Environmentalists have spearheaded and effected the phase-out of over 150 emissions that deplete the Ozone layer, reducing the cases of occurrence of eye cataracts disease and cancer of the skin by up to 2.5 million cases (Richard , 2003).
Challenges to achieving Environmental tranquility are however still rife. Terrestrial, avian and marine eco-systems are under threat of extinction. These threats pose severe consequences for human health. Environmental degradation deprives human beings of pure air, quality and diversity in food, water and a habitable ecosystem to support their unending needs. Contamination of these environmental resources is responsible for an increase in the burden of diseases including, respiratory complications from air pollution; diarrhea and food poisoning from unsafe water and food respectively. Destruction of ecosystems fuels the human-wildlife conflict (Richard , 2003). Drying of rivers in wildlife conservancies prompt the animals to move to human settlement in search of this resource. The aftermath is destruction of property and loss of animal and human life. The sudden rise in global atmospheric temperatures has led to the depletion of the polar and mountain glaciers. This will lead to flooding of oceans, submersion of islands, and drought in the tropics hence increase disease and death. The frequent occurrence of hurricanes and tornadoes has been to these changes in temperatures.
From the submissions above it is imperative that deliberate and strategic measures have to be employed in mediating environmental pollution. Though there is increased awareness on environmental health, a lot still needs to be done to improve the current state of affairs to create a better place for the future generations. Ecosystems have to be preserved to ensure biodiversity, reduced rates of species extinction and life supporting systems.
Bhattacharya, K., Mukherjee, S. P., & Gallud, A. (2016). Biological interactions of carbon- based nanomaterials: from coronation to degradation. In Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine (Vol. 2, pp. 333-351). Elsevier Ltd.
Richard , J. J. (2003). impact of built environment on health: An emerging field . American Journal of pubic health , 93 (9), 1382-1384.