We are living in a world that is dynamic and pushing forward various developments at the expense of our surroundings. In the short while the environment doesn’t seem to mater but in the long run it is us that bear the brunt of our actions to the environment. Some environmental concerns are however not man made but naturally occurring phenomenon. All in all, we need to be on the lookout for those toxic substances in our environment that pose a risk on our health and well being.
The first category of toxic substances that have raised health concerns are gases. Our environment is increasingly being polluted by gaseous emissions from machinery, automobiles, factories, forest fires and also emissions from the ground through fissures as is common in regions with volcanic activity. Environmental Protection Agency EPA lists the main categories of gaseous toxicants of concern to our health.
People who live in urban areas are more prone to toxic gases in the environment than those living in areas with high vegetation cover. This is because urban areas are concentrated with sources of gaseous emissions and also because vegetation has an effect of absorption of pollutant gases leaving the air with lesser concentrations of the toxicants.
Among common gaseous toxicants are dust, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, organic vapors and particulate matter. These exert harm to the body through the route of inhalation and depending on the level and duration of exposure; they produce chronic, severe and fatal effects. To get around them, install air cleansing equipment in your living quarters or wear protective gear in work environments.
The second category of environmental health concerns is water. Water is a commodity we have to use every day and we normally source it from our surroundings. However there are many concerns on the safety of water for our use and this has to do with all agents and forms of water pollution.
Common water pollutants are effluent from factories that load water sources with harmful chemicals, sewerage, solid matter and even microorganisms. The net effect is that these pollutants may eventually get their way into our bodies where they produce adverse effects or even death. Poisoning through water is often through drinking and contact with the skin.
Radiations pose a major risk to health and results from contact with radioactive material of processes in the environment. Workers in environments with radiations such as laboratories need to use protective clothing and measures at all times. Radioactive waste should be disposed away from people.
Natural phenomenon that puts human health and life at risk is another concern in the environment. The effective way is to prevent human settlement in areas prone to such occurrences and to initiate rescue if it occurs unexpectedly in a human settlement. These occurrences include earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis, hurricanes and tornados.
There are many other factors of concern in the environment including noise pollution, microorganisms, and heavy metals and so on. A comprehensive mention of each of these concerns and the health effects they cause is given at Tox Town Website.