We all are very much aware with various human activities that have caused irreparable damage to land, air, water and organisms that inhabit them. Man is mercilessly exploiting the planet that nurtures him and provides life and sustenance. The increasing concern now for the protection of the environment is not because of mans love for nature but to a great extent to protect directly or indirectly human health, well-being, and comfort and to avoid illness and diseases.
Although ancient civilizations were aware of the effects of environment on health, the importance of clean environment in modern times were realised after the industrial revolution.
An individual’s health is the result of the interaction of a large number of influences upon him or her. These influences fall into three categories-
- Behavioural and
Genetic influences refer to the features a person inherits room his or her parents like appearance, intellect, even abnormalities or diseases. Haemophilia, mongolism, sickle-cell anaemia and thalassaemia are genetic diseases. But allergies,hypertension,schizophrenia,asthma and diabetes are not entirely caused by genetic factors, since these diseases may be triggered or get affected by nutrition,stress,emotions,hormones,drugsor other environmental interactions in other words, they would not occur if the environment is favourable for a person and the person will remain unaffected and healthy. Behavioural influences include the effects of habits such as smoking, drugs, alcoholism, chewing tobacco or pan masala, or habits that influence our health.
The psychological environment is a unique creation of man himself. Social and medical scientists have clearly established an association
Between psychological environment and prevalence of certain diseases. For example- lung cancer is caused by chemical substances but the habit of smoking is often due to psycho-social causes.
Certain environmental conditions like air, water and food are necessary for mans survival. Apart from their availability, their quality and quantity must be assured according to mans natural and acquired capacity to sustain himself. Progress in industrialization has brought pollution and consequently health hazards. As we all know that food is adulterated with non-permitted or substandard chemicals used as artificial colours, preservatives, flavouring agent’s sweeteners or for other reasons. Toxic metals poison food during canning or while cooking in inappropriate metal utensils. Our water is polluted with biological contaminants (from sewage), or chemical contaminants (from industries) .people suffer from occupational health problems also. People sitting continuously at the desk in offices often suffer from spondylitis of the neck and back.
Noise problem is another problem which affects health. It has become an important stress factor on modern life. Exposure it high noise levels results in varying degrees of deafness. In general, the stress associated with modern living leads to anxiety , depression,sadness,fear and anger which may result in physical illness like headache, sleeplessness, stomach upset and muscular tension.