Environmental Health and Human Health - Essay Example

Published: 2023-10-16
Environmental Health and Human Health - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Ecology Pollution Community health
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1142 words
10 min read

1. Environmental pollution is the introduction of substances into the environment which have adverse effects. When added to the environment, various substances change their composition, which leads to negative outcomes. The components that alter the nature of the environment, adversely, are known as pollutants. The pollutants are responsible for pollution, as they change the environment's nature adversely (Hill, 2020). The pollutants differ in their form and chemical composition, therefore causing pollution in different ways. However, the common characteristic they all have is altering the composition of the environment adversely. Therefore, it is important to identify the various pollutants, which can go a long way in addressing the pollution they cause.

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Physical agents

Physical agents of pollution are energy sources that release their effects into the environment, producing adverse effects in the long run. The physical agents differ based on the sources from which they are emitted into the environment. Therefore, the effects they have are different. An example of pollution's physical agents includes noise, vibrations, thermal sources, optical radiation, and electricity. The different types of agents are produced by various sources of energy, whose intensity differs. As a result of the difference in intensity, their effects differ in the same measure.

Chemical agents

Chemical agents of pollution are described as compounds; that are toxic, inform, and affect the environment adversely. The chemical agents may result from human activities of naturally occurring compounds released into the environment t as they combine with other natural elements. The chemical agents have different degrees of harm to the environment because of their different components. The active components are responsible for the adverse effects associated with environmental pollution in different ways. An example of a chemical agent is the waste produced by manufacturing firms. The waste has various ingredients, which, when released into the environment, have different adverse effects.

Biological Agents

Biological agents of pollution are contaminants of the environment that are living organisms. They are responsible for various negative effects on normal environmental conditions. Examples of biological pollutants include bacteria, pollen grains and viruses. They are naturally occurring, and through their activities, they cause negative effects on other organisms. For example, pollen is known to cause allergic reactions to individuals. The same applies to viruses, whereby they have adverse effects, which differ in measuring their intensity of effects.

2. Factors that affect responses to a toxic chemical

-Chemical activity

The reactive nature of a chemical determines the response directed to it to reverse its adverse effects (Lindell & Meier, 1994). The response used should be capable of neutralizing the active adverse effects related to the chemical.


The number of toxicants the toxic chemical has determined the response directed to it. When there are more toxicants, there will be a need for advanced chemical interventions. On the contrary, when the degree of toxicity is low, there can be a mild degree of intervention.


The nature of the chemical entering human bodies or the environment affects the responses directed to it. When a chemical is more absorbent, there will be a need for a quick intervention mode.

Exposure route

A chemical may be infection following different ways, for example, being inhaled or ingested. The exposure associated with the chemical is essential for determining the response directed to it for neutralization of effects.

Presence of other reactive chemicals

When there are other chemicals available, the response chosen should be one that will not lead to adverse secondary effects from the intervention. There should be a uniform neutralization resultant from the response.

3. A chemical's toxicity is determined by its degree of reactivity, time of exposure, and the dosage. Those are the major determinants of how toxic a chemical is to the environment. Every substance has its levels of chemical activity, which may react with some environmental characteristics or not. Therefore, all substances can be regarded as poisonous, as they have adverse effects on some organisms or the environment.

4. Human exposure assessment is the measurement or estimation of the frequency, magnitude, or duration of exposure to a toxic substance. Various human exposure assessment methods can be used to measure the frequency or magnitude of an individual's exposure to a pollutant.

-The first broad category is the direct approach, whereby the effects of a pollutant are measured in terms of the concentration level that reaches individuals. There is direct monitoring of pollutant concentrations through the point of contact with an individual. The point of contact could be their workplace or their homes where they are exposed to the pollutants. The concentration reaching an individual is measured by calculating the degree of exposure at the point of contact.

-The second category is the indirect approach, where individuals' exposure is evaluated during specified human activities. In this method, the exposure is based on microenvironments, where individuals may be at a specific time. The indirect approach exposure is used for only a sample, which may indicate the exposure associated with the entire community. This method is ideal for large populations, where it is impossible to successfully implement the direct approach.

4. Epidemiology is associated with activities undertaken by experts to control diseases and other health-related challenges. It is concerned with studying and analyzing the patterns and determinants of disease conditions in a given population. Epidemiology is an important environmental health research study because it helps identify hazards in the environment that may have adverse effects on the health of individuals.

5. There are various limitations of the epidemiologic approach in studying environmental health problems. First is the challenge of measuring errors, which, when relied upon, may lead to wrong conclusions and, hence inaccurate interventions (Morris, 1957). Furthermore, there are limited resources in some cases, limiting the success and intervention related to the approach. Moreover, there is a limitation of using inappropriate statistical methods to arrive at conclusions. Therefore, the conclusions upon which policies are based may be wrong, limiting any possible successful interventions.


Hill, M. K. (2020). Understanding environmental pollution. Cambridge University Press. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=hILoDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=environmental+pollution+&ots=hpQmZ78TN4&sig=vvDHIxQHL-Swi6LAON_jwVk69f8&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=environmental%20pollution&f=false

Lindell, M. K., & Meier, M. J. (1994). Planning effectiveness: Effectiveness of community planning for toxic chemical emergencies. Journal of the American Planning Association, 60(2), 222-234. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01944369408975575

Morris, J. N. (1957). Uses of epidemiology (p. 98). Edinburgh & London. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=MNITD2Uy5GIC&oi=fnd&pg=PA233&dq=limitations+of+the+epidemiologic+approach+with+respect+to+the+study+of+environmental+health+problems%3F&ots=xFquKPUha6&sig=GiZxCGIxMjDaKGNOrE5BDARBrkU&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=limitations%20of%20the%20epidemiologic%20approach%20with%20respect%20to%20the%20study%20of%20environmental%20health%20problems%3F&f=false

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