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Human environmental hazards - Essay Example

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A hazard is “anything that can cause harm, disease, or death to humans, damage to personal or public property, or the weakening or destruction of environmental elements. Within the environment, there are four categories which are chemical, physical, cultural, and biological.These elements are always present in everyday life…
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Human environmental hazards November 23, Human environmental hazards Within the environment, there are four categories of human environmental hazards, which are chemical, physical, cultural, and biological. A hazard is “anything that can cause harm, disease, or death to humans, damage to personal or public property, or the weakening or destruction of environmental elements (Wright & Boorse, 2011).” As hazards, these categories contain events or characteristics that can be damaging to human life. Since these elements are always present in everyday life, human beings are constantly being subjected to or threatened by these environmental hazards. Chemical hazards are considered to be the most common of human environmental hazards because there are numerous types and the majority of them are quite simple for a human to obtain. Indeed, every household contains a plethora of chemical hazards, such as cleaning agents, paints, fuels, medicines, and pesticides. Some of these are also used on an industrial level, like when a farm uses pesticides on its crops. There are a few ways that humans can be effected by chemical hazards. First, people can ingest the chemicals, and this especially holds true to curious toddlers who are unaware of the dangers that household chemicals contain. Adults are also capable of swallowing the chemicals, though this is less common. These chemicals can be inhaled, such as when pesticides are used on open fields; people often inhale them unknowingly, which is why this category is also one of the most dangerous (Rache, 1995). The majority of people are unaware that they are even being subjected to the many chemicals in the environment until their health becomes compromised. The physical hazards category consists of natural disasters, which are events that human beings have no control over. The greatest danger about physical hazards, besides not being able to control or prevent them, is that they can occur without warning (Philp, 2001). They often come in the form of weather conditions, such as floods, draughts, hurricanes, and tornadoes. At times, these weather conditions can be predicted, though not avoided, but other occurrences are earthquakes and volcano eruptions, which are unable to be predicted within a useful amount of time. These events have the ability to harm human life, as well as plant and animal life, and property. Cultural hazards consist of hazards that can often be foreseen, but tend to go unnoticed until it is too late. Cultural hazards come as a result of where we live, our occupation, behavioral choices, and our socioeconomic status. A person could live in a nice house located in a nice neighborhood, but if they live too close to big power lines, they could risk developing cancer because of their proximity to the power lines. Cultural hazards can also be eating too much, not exercising enough, using drugs or alcohol, or being too close to criminal activity. People have the ability to control the majority of cultural hazards, such as taking better care of themselves or living in safe environments, but many people are unaware of the damage that can happen. Biological hazards come about from ecological interaction primarily between human beings, but there are times when other organisms can get involved, such as animals. Biological hazards are “communicable diseases or transmissible diseases such as malaria, cholera, tuberculosis and influenza (Wald, 1994).” Biological hazards are capable of being spread from one person to another, in a continuous, endless pattern, each and every day. All it takes is for a sick person to sick the hand of a healthy person and they have passed on their illness. Biological hazards can be prevented when people are more attentive to their health, cleanliness, and how they interact with other people. References Philp, R. B. (2001). Ecosystems and human health: Toxicology and environmental hazards (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers. Rache, L. (1995). Environmental hazards and human health. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. Wald, P. (1994). Physical and biological hazards of the world. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Wright, R., & Boorse, D. (2011). Environmental science: Toward a sustainable future. San Francisco, CA: Pearsons Education, Incorporated. Read More
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