5 Environmental Risk Factors That Can Lead to Fatal Diseases | From the roads we drive on to the quality of the air we breathe in, environmental factors play a highly critical role in our health and well-being. What’s more, these factors continue to evolve as time passes due to both human-caused and natural events. That said, a healthy environment is vital if we want to enhance our life’s quality and live longer. However, sometimes, we ignore the importance of a healthy environment. In fact, according to statistics from Healthy People, around 23 percent of all deaths are due to preventable environmental health issues.
That said, by enhancing environmental health, society can limit exposure to various diseases. Plus, it also reduces the number of pollutants that can lead to the toxicity of the human body. But before we can eliminate these environmental health issues, we must first know what they are. And today’s post is all about environmental risk factors that can cause fatal diseases. Therefore, let us look at some environmental risk factors that can impede human wellness and health.
Some of these environmental health issues are listed down below:
Occupational asbestos exposure
A growing concern of environmental activists; occupational asbestos exposure is the number one cause of asbestosis and cancer such as mesothelioma. When people work around this carcinogenic mineral, it gets absorbed into the lung, coating its lining and resulting in lung cancer and respiratory issues.
While the usage of asbestos has been limited in many countries, there is a possibility that old buildings contain traces of asbestos. Usually, constructors would use it as insulation material inside piping, walls, and ceilings. Nonetheless, construction workers are not the only ones who are susceptible to asbestos exposure. Navy crews, ship workers, miners, demolition crews, and even service members are prone to asbestos exposure.
Therefore, if you’ve contracted mesothelioma, an overview of mesothelioma by a credible law firm can help secure your rights. They can help take legal action if your illness is due to an employer’s negligence, allowing you to acquire compensation for the damages caused to your health.
According to numerous studies, air pollution can significantly impact human health, increasing mortality and morbidity. When environmentalists discuss air pollution, they refer to any liquid, solid, or gaseous particles present in the air and harm human health and well-being. Some human-made examples of sources of air pollution include vehicle exhausts, factory fumes, and much more. On the other hand, natural sources include mold spores, pollen, and other forms of allergens.
These air pollutants leave a lasting effect on human health. And cause issues such as allergies, asthma, cancer, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to name a few. Moreover, these issues can lead to more severe health concerns, resulting in death if not treated.
Natural disasters and climatic changes
Another environmental risk factor that leads to severe human health issues is natural disasters along with climatic change. In fact, according to The National Environmental Health Association, climatic change is the topmost threat to human health these days. Climate change is melting years old permafrost leaving humans vulnerable to contracting unknown fatal viruses and diseases. Moreover, climatic change and natural disasters disrupt the natural world order, resulting in more frequent, heavier rains and temperature increases.
As a result, due to climatic changes, humans are at a higher risk of developing health issues such as Lyme disease, West Nile virus, dengue fever, malaria, and much more. Furthermore, natural disasters such as hurricanes and typhoons result in health problems such as viral hepatitis, diarrhea, cutaneous mucormycosis, and tetanus. However, these diseases usually develop in individuals who have a compromised immune system.
Degraded water quality and sanitation services
According to the CDC, more than seven hundred and eight million people don’t have access to water sources. On the other hand, the report also suggests that eight hundred and eighty-four million people don’t have access to drinking water at all. Moreover, around a third of the entire world doesn’t have access to proper sanitation services.
Such a thing has profound health implications. Every day, hundreds of children lose their lives because of degraded water quality. It all stems from lack of access to proper sanitation and water treatment services, dumping industrial waste into water, or outdated plumbing infrastructure. Consequently, this can lead to hepatitis A and E, giardiasis, cholera, Naegleria, and much more.
Microbial diseases inside water, soil, and air
Millions of microbes are present in the air, water, soil, and the human body. While the human body contains microbes that help with bodily functions, many found in air, water, and soil are deadly for human health. These microorganisms can infect humans and cause fatal diseases.
Take the example of E. Coli. It is a dangerous bacteria found in food and the environment. Once contracted, it can cause urinary tract infections, respiratory issues, and death if you develop sepsis. Moreover, the soil and air contain other deadly microbes that can cause botulism and tetanus if inhaled through the air or ingested.
In the end, you cannot manage environmental health factors on an individual level. To combat the health risks they present, it requires programs, policies, and laws at the international, federal, and local levels.
That said, there are numerous things individuals can do to protect themselves from the environmental health factors mentioned above to live a long prosperous life. For instance, you can switch to remote work to reduce air pollution. Or, install a water filtration unit inside your home to access clean, drinkable water. In the end, it is all about taking the initiative, and now is the time to do so.