Studying the relationship between environmental factors and disease is one of the key focuses of public health. This field encompasses epidemiology and toxicology.

Harmful microbes such as E-coli can be spread via eating contaminated food or breathing in soil particles, while chemicals in drinking water and air pollution, hormone disrupting chemicals, or persistent organic pollutants could all pose threats.

Air Pollution

Air pollution makes breathing harder, prompting asthma attacks and worsening preexisting medical conditions such as heart disease, lung infections and stroke. Furthermore, it increases your risk of disease development in future years.

People contribute to air pollution by burning fossil fuels like coal, gasoline and natural gas to run cars, heat homes and operate factories; polluting industrial plants; and discharging hazardous chemicals used in agriculture. Furthermore, wildfires release smoke and ash into the air; volcanoes emit gasses including carbon dioxide; and decomposing organic material produces volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere.

These pollutants can combine to form secondary pollution sources, such as smog. Smog occurs when smoke and fog mix with chemical pollutants found in the air, creating an imbalance of gases which has contributed to global warming.

People can take steps to limit their exposure to air pollution by taking public transportation and avoiding aerosol cans, among other measures. Many governments, cities and individuals already have policies in place that restrict harmful emissions.

Water Pollution

Water pollution can have serious repercussions for human health and the environment, including diarrhea, skin conditions, cancer and environmental degradation. Agriculture is one of the main contributors of pollution – chemical fertilizers from fertilizers used on livestock can pollute rivers and streams with contamination from animal waste washed into rivers by rainwater runoff or urban runoff that contains harmful bacteria or heavy metals; oil spills also pose a threat; this was highlighted when tanker Torrey Canyon sank in English Channel spilling oil all over beaches

Water pollution is a global problem with various causes. To tackle it, people must become more informed on its effects and its negative implications on health, while governments need to enact laws that safeguard water supplies – such as through education programs and encouraging recycling efforts. Furthermore, it is crucial that wastewater facilities receive regular maintenance.


Toxins are produced by living organisms (such as germs like cholera bacteria) as part of their natural defense mechanisms against predators or microorganisms and can be harmful to humans in large doses. They may be found in plants such as mushrooms and wild vegetables but rarely consumed as part of normal diets.

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Chemical toxins can enter the environment through agricultural and urban land uses (including pesticides, herbicides and fuel), sewage outfalls and combined sewer overflows, motor boat exhausts and internal combustion engines, motor boat exhausts/internal combustion engines as well as impervious surface runoff. Their toxicity depends upon environmental conditions such as dissolved oxygen levels, ionic strength concentrations and sediment concentrations.

The country profiles present estimates of disease burden caused by three major environmental determinants – unsafe water and sanitation, outdoor air pollution from solid fuel use, and indoor air pollution from household cooking gases – measured as premature deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs per capita). These estimates have been developed based on expert opinions as well as country-specific environmental health data; disease rather than risk factor has been used as the metric to ensure accurate reporting.


Chemicals play an essential part in everyday life, from growing food to providing medicines to treat disease. But when these substances pollute our environment, people become at risk. Hazardous substances may enter their system through drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food, inhalation or absorption through skin contact – depending on what chemical it is and its type, these substances could have different side effects on body functioning.

Chemical pollution can have devastating health outcomes, from acute poisonings to long-term diseases affecting multiple organ systems. Common exposures include solvents, pesticides, heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like cadmium and dioxins; chemicals may also be inhaled or consumed via medical equipment, cleaning products and contaminated fish or shellfish consumption.

At the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in 2002, governments agreed to ensure that chemicals produced and used have minimal adverse impacts on human health and the environment, with their waste properly managed. For this to occur, transparent science-based risk evaluation and management processes must be in place.


Environmental influences on infectious disease remain an increasingly complex and contentious subject, with pesticides frequently overlooked as one such influence. While pesticides may pose potential health risks (particularly those with high mammalian toxicity or lasting environmental presence), their use also has significant advantages that should not be discounted.

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Pesticides should only kill what they’re designed to kill without harming humans, animals or soil microorganisms. Unfortunately, due to widespread usage people may come in contact with pesticides through eating or drinking products containing them; breathing them in; touching their skin directly after contact; breathing their fumes out while cleaning products may come in direct contact with it and come into direct contact with it; the long-term impacts from low level exposure depend on variables like age, sex, diet state of health as well as risk factors.

Pesticides come in many varieties, from organochlorine insecticides such as DDT and DDE to organophosphate insecticides like Heptachlor and Lindane; carbamates, pyrethroids and herbicides. Their movement through the environment depends on factors like water solubility, soil-sorption properties and octanol/water partition coefficients as well as half-lives in soil.


Radiation occurs naturally in our environment due to spontaneous decay of unstable atoms, but can also be used medically and scientifically for medicinal treatment and other applications. Everyone on earth is exposed to low levels of radiation produced both naturally and from technological sources.

Radiations is classified into either ionizing or non-ionizing depending on how it interacts with matter. Ionizing radiation deposits energy in materials it passes through by dislodging electrons from atoms; this can damage living cells by depriving them of vital building blocks that support life.

Non-ionizing radiation does not displace electrons; rather, its energy carries less impact and may cause less damage. Both types of radiation can cause cancer; its risk increases with dose but the effects may take years before they appear – this time period is known as latency period.

Most common diseases have complex multi-factorial etiologies that make identifying radiation’s specific role difficult. Epidemiological studies also often rely on an assumption that disease risk associated with radiation exposure correlates with baseline rates for that disease in their study population; this assumption may or may not hold up in practice, since other factors could also contribute to its development.


Noise pollution – from traffic noise and aircraft engine roar to sleep disturbance and stress – is more than an inconvenience; it poses a real health risk, leading to hearing loss, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to sound, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disruptions and stress as well as cognitive impairment and memory problems.

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Noise pollution is an ongoing public health threat and contributes to lost disability-adjusted life years according to recent studies using environmental burden of disease methodology. Low-income and minority populations are especially at risk when exposed to environmental risks like air pollution, traffic noise and other pollutants.

Research on air and road traffic noise has linked it with numerous major diseases, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, sleep disturbances, tinnitus and elevated stress hormone levels. Studies have revealed that even by reducing ambient noise levels by 5dB just 5 percent lower blood pressure and cardiovascular disease can be reduced, saving millions in medical costs annually.

Climate Change

Changes to one or more climate variables can have profound effects on human infectious disease transmission and pathogen survival, often manifested as changes to geographic or seasonal distribution patterns, frequency or severity of outbreaks, or new disease outbreaks.

Scientists have explored the causes of recent global warming and found that human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are predominantly to blame. Furthermore, their effects are having an effect on other factors that alter Earth’s temperature such as solar radiation or volcanic eruptions.

No matter how we view it, climate change is already here and affecting everything that we rely upon – water, food, wildlife and human health among them. Climate change is already leading to melting glaciers and ice sheets; earlier warming of rivers and lakes; migration of plant and animal species; floods droughts wildfires heat waves with devastating consequences which put people at risk of illness, injuries or even death; some impacts of which disproportionately affect those already sick with preexisting conditions or extreme age groups.