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Environmental Issues - How Does the Issue Affect Global Health?

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Environmental Issues on Global Health

Seven Environmental Issues

Environmental issue How does the issue affect global health?

Overpopulation The Earth's natural resources are already being consumed at an unsustainable rate. Many of these resources are required to support world health and human life (Donnatelle, 2010). Human population is expected to increase dramatically over the next decade. This, alone, is the greatest threat to life on our planet.

Air pollution Air pollution affects everything from agriculture and ecosystems to human health, on a global scale. The five major air pollutants are ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide (Donnatelle, 2010). A majority of these pollutants are the result of human action. One example being coal power plants. These plants release greenhouse gas emissions and particle air pollution. The burning of the coal creates pollutant byproducts. Other forms of industrial pollution, exhaust fumes, burning wood, and several forms of indoor air pollutants result in air contamination. The combination of various air contaminates can be extremely toxic. The pollutants irritate the lungs and may even cause respiratory diseases and cancer in humans (Donnatelle, 2010).

Ozone Layer Depletion / Global Warming The ozone layer protects us from ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. UVB radiation damages human DNA, weakens the immune system, and is the primary cause of skin cancer (Donnatelle, 2010).

As a result of human activity, such as burning fossil fuels, the increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have thinned the ozone layer. It is believed that this has accelerated global warming. Melting polar ice caps, threatened eco-systems and catastrophic weather have all been attributed to global warming.

Water Pollution & Shortage Pure water is in short supply. More than half of the world population does not have access to potable (safe) water. Nearly 40 percent of the population lacks access to even the most basic sanitation, and upwards of 4,000 children die daily due to illnesses from contaminated water (Donnatelle, 2010).

Petroleum products, industrial pollutants, lead, chemicals, and pesticides seep their way into soil, groundwater, lakes, and rivers. Exposure to these toxins is often devastating. Many chemicals are known to cause cancer (Donnatelle, 2010).

Land Pollution Much of the waste that ends up polluting the water starts out polluting the land (Donnatelle, 2010). A majority of the world has grown accustomed to a throw-away lifestyle, which is neither healthy nor sustainable. The amount of waste the industrialized world generates is shocking.

Hazardous Waste Hazardous waste may pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health. It may also cause or contribute to an increase in mortality, or an increase in irreversible or incapacitating illness (E.P.A. 2011).

Noise Pollution Short-term exposure to noise pollution reduces concentration and productivity. Long-term exposure may affect mental health and even lead to loss of hearing (Donnatelle, 2010).

Which of the seven environmental issues is the most damaging to the environment and why?

All seven environmental problems detailed above can be attributed, either directly or indirectly, to over population. Increasing human population is the planet's biggest environmental problem. As our population grows, the Earth's resources vanish. All of Earth's natural resources, like fertile land and clean water, are disappearing at an unbelievable rate (Donnatelle, 2010).

The human population ravenously consumes natural resources, pollutes the air and water, tears down natural habitats, destroys ecosystems, and causes other species to become endangered or even extinct. Several Earth's would be needed to keep up with the current population's consumption. The scariest part about the human population, which is already living far beyond its means, is that it is expected to increase substantially. Population growth and overconsumption must be curbed or catastrophic effects to our planet and all of its inhabitants may be right around the corner.

Repair a Broken Health Care System

Complete the following chart. Provide seven proposals for changing the health care system. For each proposal, complete the Pros, Cons, and Future Outlook columns.

Proposal Pros Cons Future Outlook

Provide clinics for basic healthcare needs to all citizens free of cost. The services would include immunizations and diagnosis of minor injections and illnesses treatable with antibiotics, etc. This would alleviate the high



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