SUBJECT :Environment 


Environment may be defined as everything that makes up our surroundings and affects our ability to live on the earth. It is a combination of air that we breathe, water that we drink, soil on which we are farming crops, minerals that we need in traces, and all living organisms (plants, animals & humans) etc. The term the environment comes from the French word environ and means everything that surrounds us. Our life on the planet earth has a direct relationship with the type of environmental conditions we are living in.

Flow chart showing the prime components of Environment 

Flow chart showing the prime components of Environment

There are two main categories of environmental factors that decides the quality of our life on earth, they are:

A)    Biotic or living Factors: Plants, animals, birds, and microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, fungi and parasites etc.

B)    Abiotic or non living Factors: Fire, Light, Moisture, soil, temperature, wind and chemical factors such as oxygen levels, salt concentrations, the presence of toxins and acidity.  

Factors affecting Environmental Health:

The term ‘environmental health’ refers to many different factors in a person’s surroundings. Generally speaking, environmental health risks include problems with:

  • ·         Air quality
  • ·         Water quality
  • ·         Food quality and safety
  • ·         Waste disposal
  • ·         Hazardous substances
  • ·         Unsafe public spaces
  • ·         Housing conditions.

Examples of Environmental Health Risks:

Environmental health covers different factors in a person’s surroundings. These can include:

  • ·         Air pollution: For example smog, wood smoke and mould
  • ·         Water quality: For example grey water, tank water, fluoridation and drought
  • ·         Food quality: For example contamination and nutrition
  • ·         Chemicals: For example, pesticides, farm chemicals, arsenic and CCA treated timber
  • ·         Metals: For example, exposure to lead, mercury and cadmium
  • ·         Diseases from animals and insects (vector borne): For example, dengue fever, hendra virus, lyssavirus, Ross River fever and malaria
  • ·         Infectious diseases: For example, viral infections like swine flu
  • ·         Natural hazards: For example, solar radiation and extreme weather events
  • ·         Man-made structures: For example, exposure to asbestos or electromagnetic radiation sources like mobile phones
  • ·         Occupational health: For example, safety issues relating to the workplace such as noise pollution and hazardous waste
  • ·         Climate change: For example, higher sea levels, increased soil salinity and increased temperatures