The environment constitutes everything, both living and non-living things, around us. Environmental factors are those which are identifiable and affect the growth, operation, and survival of an organism. These factors will include everything that can impact the natural environment. While some of these elements might be visible, some others will not be visible to the naked eye. Some environmental factors are climate, water, air, landforms, natural vegetation, etc. These factors have a significant effect on our daily lives and bring health differences in various geographical areas. The interaction between ecological factors and humans can have a significant impact on human health directly or indirectly.
Here are 5 environmental factors that can harm human health.
Introducing organic molecules, pollutants, and other harmful materials into the atmosphere is known as pollution. It can be caused by either man-made activities or natural events. Pollution can be of different types including water pollution, noise pollution, air pollution, radioactive pollution, soil pollution, etc.
Harmful solid or liquid particles and gases that are suspended in the air cause air pollution. These gases and particles usually come from factories, vehicles, wildfires, volcanoes, etc. It can lead to serious health issues. Air pollution can rapidly increase asthma and other respiratory diseases, lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc. Water pollution and soil pollution are caused when harmful particles come into contact with soil or water, making both polluted. Polluted water is unsafe for drinking, cooking, swimming, agriculture, and other activities related to human life. Pollution in oceans is a serious issue as more plastics are being dumped into the oceans, affecting marine life. This issue will indirectly affect human health through seafood and other activities related to the sea. Therefore, pollution, in any form, is dangerous to human health.
Excessive destruction of natural forests and cutting down of trees is called deforestation. It can be either due to natural calamities like earthquakes, wildfires, floods, etc, or human activities. Deforestation affects the environment negatively. The most dangerous impact is climate change and other issues that affect ecosystems.
- Microbial diseases
Microbes cause diseases like typhoid, flu, cholera, measles, diarrhea, etc. Pathogenic bacteria cause more severe diseases like anthrax, tuberculosis, and plague, while protozoan parasites cause sleeping sickness, malaria, dysentery, etc. These diseases are caused by organisms entering the human body through food. Contaminated food causes E. coli, leading to urinary diseases and respiratory sickness.
- Climatic change
Climatic changes are causing several problems to human health. Frequent heat waves, extreme weather conditions, hurricanes, storms, landslides, wildfires, floods, etc can cause illness and even death. It can also disrupt the natural food chain, increase water-borne diseases, mental health problems, etc.
- Global warming
The gradual rise in the atmospheric temperature of the Earth and its water is called Global warming. The increase in the release of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, which are emitted by burning fossil fuels and emissions from industries and vehicles as well as other human activities, leads to global warming.