In recent years, environmental health and climate change have emerged as the most prominent subjects of research and debate. After centuries of pillaging and wasting our resources, humankind is finally turning towards identifying and correcting its mistakes. We are realizing the burden of environmental concerns and the resulting health problems caused by pollutants and toxins.
The environment plays a crucial role in our physical development, health and wellbeing, and lifespan. Environmental concerns, such as chemical exposure and air pollution, are linked with various physical and mental illnesses. The environment comprises our air quality, water purity, food farming and processing techniques, and neighborhoods and workplaces.
And our environment is breeding scores of diseases and illnesses, giving rise to airborne viruses and potentially fatalistic concerns. Keep reading to have a look at these damaging environmental concerns in more detail.
1. Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
Not all of us work in chemistry labs, brewing scientific concoctions and exposing our lungs to harmful toxins and substances. That’s the picture most people conjure up in their minds when thinking about their exposure to chemicals. Unfortunately, exposure to dangerous chemicals often happens unconsciously through products we bring home.
We are sometimes exposed to potential toxins through the chemical dyes and synthetic substances in our clothes. Similarly, other times, our houses, apartments, and workplaces are exposed to asbestos fiber – a harmful silicate mineral used for construction and insulation. Asbestos-containing products are commonly added to the construction of public spaces, like sports fields and residential properties.
Asbestos exposure is one of the leading risk factors of respiratory cancers, primarily mesothelioma and lung cancer. We urge readers to click here to learn more about mesothelioma, a type of hard-to-detect cancer that’s easier to fight in the initial stages. You see, asbestos fiber leads to low-dose exposure to toxins, which compromise our respiratory health considerably. Most people get exposed to asbestos at work, while others are exposed at home or in the military.
Our environment is riddled with toxins and chemicals used in construction, manufacturing, and industrial processes. These chemicals are toxic for the body, whether consumed through food or inhaled through the respiratory tract. Data released by the WHO (World Health Organization) in 2016 revealed that chemical exposure caused over 1.6 million deaths.
Chemicals have penetrated our home and workplace environments, alongside our water and food supplies and the air we breathe.
2. Breathing Toxins & Pollutants
The rising air pollution levels are a significant health concern for populations worldwide. We are inhaling scores of toxins and pollutants, not to mention poisonous car fuels and industrial emissions, every time we inhale. City dwellers often complain of smog, recurring sinus issues, and respiratory troubles that seem to vanish in the countryside. Our exposure to air pollution has a detrimental impact on our health and wellbeing. And we are to blame for compromising the air quality with our luxury cars and excessive fuel consumption.
What is air pollution? It refers to an accumulation of poisonous gases, liquids, and solid particles suspended in the air. These toxic substances give birth to wide-ranging hazards and diseases, including asthma, lung disease, and heart stroke. Unfortunately, all these toxins are human-made pollutants stemming from industrial processes and vehicle emissions.
Luckily, we can remedy this situation by healing Mother Earth, growing more plants and trees, and abandoning toxic processes. Meanwhile, wearing a mask while traveling and commuting is a wise choice to reduce one’s risk for respiratory concerns.
3. Hazardous Water Quality
Is your drinking water safe and free of all contaminations? That’s an important question to ask when moving into a new neighborhood or workplace. Unfortunately, the WHO reveals that over 2.2 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean, safely managed water supplies.
Water contains natural minerals and substances that regulate and replenish our organs, brimming the body with energy. However, if the water we drink has toxins and harmful chemicals, it will cause unprecedented harm. It’s hard to pin down the health hazards and implications of unsafe drinking water.
Research reveals that more than 2000 children die every day due to diseases caused by unsafe drinking water. But how does water get polluted? Industries and factories worldwide dump their chemical waste and pollutants in rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. These waste-dumping practices pollute our water supplies from their source, causing dangerous implications for human and marine life.
A lack of proper water treatment and sanitation is another prominent cause of hazardous water quality. Homeowners should inspect their plumbing system and invest in a water filtration system.
4. Climate Change
We are all overwhelmed by the fear of raging wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, pandemics, and airborne viruses. Undoubtedly, climate change is by far the most significant environmental concern for the human race. It comes with a series of devastating healthcare implications and a rising surge of natural disasters.
You see, climate change has disrupted our world in numerous ways, making us more vulnerable to devastation. It makes us vulnerable to viruses and infections by increasing the earth’s temperatures. Rainfalls are heavier and more frequent, storms are more violent, and the sun is baking the soil to ashes. These environmental changes have a far-reaching impact on spreading viruses and diseases.
Climate change has sped up wildfires, cyclones, and drones, leading to food shortages and insecurity. Millions worldwide are struggling with the loss of life and property, making them more vulnerable to healthcare risk factors.
Some say that we have damaged our planet beyond repair, while others argue there’s still room for restoration. Either way, we must all do our part in fighting these environmental concerns to ensure our safety and those of our loved ones. Understanding the complications and risk factors is enough to create a strategy to fight off these concerns.
Awareness will help us embrace lifestyles and habits that allow the earth to heal and recover. Filtering our water, consuming home-grown produce, and wearing a mask are some habits that can reduce the damage.