With the vast changes in the environment, human health is at an all time risk. Man has created factors over the years that can be controlled with enormous effort on each individual. Environmental risk factors from natural occurrences are not easily controlled, yet have an astounding effect on human health. Dry conditions have created perfect environment for natural wild fires throughout much of the world causing concern for increased air pollution. Radon gas is a radiation that occurs in nature and has been around since the beginning of time; it is the second leading cause of lung cancer, but can be controlled with little effort. Mold spores in the millions grow in most areas of the world affecting people’s respiratory health, skin, and eyes yet can be prevented. Environmental health risks from natural causes are mostly preventable with diligence from everyone.
Wildfires are a combination of grasses, trees and possible building materials. This leaves fine particles in the air that can travel for several miles causing health concerns in areas surrounding the fires. Air pollution caused by wildfires not only hurts your eyes but also can irritate the respiratory system causing people suffering from asthma and chronic lung disease to feel the effects. Chronic heart disease is also affected by the harmful air quality. (Center for Disease Control, 2011) Always check the local air quality index to determine if you are safe outdoors; otherwise, remain indoors with the windows and doors closed and the air conditioning running to keep contaminated outdoor air form coming indoors. Take caution to remove yourself from situations that may be unsafe or harmful to your health.
Radon gas is a naturally occurring background radiation that has been around since time began. It is found predominantly in soil, but occurs everywhere. Radon gas is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that can seep into our homes through the ground causing serious health problems. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The amount of radon in your house and the amount of time you spend there, determine the risks of getting lung cancer from the gas. Smokers face a much larger risk of getting lung cancer from radon gas than non-smokers.
There is a big push by governments across the globe to reduce the risks of lung cancer from radon. There are many myths surrounding radon that the government is working to dispel. Of those myths scientists agree that radon causes thousands of preventable deaths each year from lung cancer, radon testing is easy and can be done by yourself or by a qualified testing company, all homes are affected and homes with dangerously high levels can be easily fixed by professional radon gas mitigators, and every house tests differently. (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2009)
Molds are fungi that grow most everywhere and effect people in all health categories. People with respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, and sinusitis have the greatest risks of affected. Individuals with a weakened immune system, children and elderly are at risk of being effective as well. Symptoms that may occur are nasal stuffiness, wheezing, eye irritation, and skin irritations. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010) Mold can be found anywhere but prefer places that are warm and moist. A cleaning solution of one cup bleach to one gallon of water may be used to kill existing mold. Keep areas that are prone to moisture clean and ventilated to reduce potential mold hazards. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2006)
In summary, human health concerns are at an all time with the vast environmental changes that have occurred. Air quality affected by naturally occurring wildfires has a large impact on people for miles surrounding the fires. Lung cancer caused by naturally occurring radon gases is being addressed by governments across the globe in an attempt to reduce outbreaks. People everywhere are fighting the harmful effects of mold and learning ways to control the infestations. Maintaining good health in a world riddled with natural and manmade environmental concerns requires knowledge, understanding, and effort on every individual.
Courtney from Study Moose
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