Individuals have constant interaction with the environment. These interactions affect the quality of life, either bestowing years of healthy life or causing health problems. Environmental health involves controlling or preventing disease, disability, and injury related to the interactions between the environment and people.
Adverse solid waste material vastly affects the quality of life, resulting in various hindrances in living a healthy and long life, while also making the quality of life in some area unbearable.
2020 Healthy People Environmental Health objectives
The 2020 Healthy People Environmental Health Objectives focus on those areas that highlight some elements of environmental health. These consist of air quality outdoors; toxic substances and hazardous wastes; and ground and surface water quality, as well as other elements needed for a healthy environment that promotes a long life.
Quality of Air
When we think of the surroundings and sustainability, air quality is a natural consideration. The air quality touches numerous parts of the ecosystem globally including water, soil, wildlife, vegetation, and human life. In one way or another, all living things depend on the air around us.
2012 Outdoor Pollution
In 2010, 3.2 million people died early from outdoor air pollution, mostly in Asia, and mostly from soot as well as other pollutants from trucks and diesel cars. This means that outdoor air pollution is now a much larger risk to health than high cholesterol and, along with obesity, is the health risk that is the fastest growing in the world, thus resulting in the lack of a healthy environment nourishing quality life.
Solid and Hazardous Waste
Nearly every activity leaves behind some waste in the environment. Manufacturing and industrial processes create hazardous solid waste. Some of this waste has chemicals that are hazardous to people and the environment.
When these hazardous chemicals are in the environment, people become exposed to them. Exposure arises when individuals have interaction with the toxic waste, both directly and through other substances polluted with this waste. Living a healthy long life becomes a tough task under such circumstances.
Companies Not Following Regulations
There are many companies that do not safely dispose of their toxic waste, contaminating entire communities they are located in. This results in many quality of life issues including early onset of cancers and other health problems, especially in the very young and the very old.
Ground and Surface Waters
The quality of ground and surface water possibly has the largest effect on long life – not so much in the United States, but certainly in underdeveloped countries where drinking water is polluted and babies and children often get sick and die from the quality of the water.
Surface water can become stagnant and polluted simply by not having a method to flow and take out many elements of solid waste. Often, surface water is not a good source of potable water and can harm animals, plants, and humans. In many areas of the world, water out of the ground is pumped out, so people can use it for bathing, drinking, and well as other uses in a household, industry, and agriculture.
Additionally, groundwater often reaches the surface through other pathways that are natural such as springs. Groundwater that is contaminated affects the health of everything when they bathe or drink water that is contaminated or when they eat anything that has been negatively affected by contamination of groundwater. The dream of a healthy environment is simply not possible without better quality water.