Living in a clean environment is recognized as a fundamental human right by the WHO and the UN. According to the UN human rights office, all states must participate in improving the environment and hygiene aspects for the betterment of their citizens. Being able to breathe fresh air and drink clean water is not a privilege; it’s a fundamental human right, regardless of everything.
Now, when air, water, and land pollution has reached horrendous levels, citizens have started to speak for this fundamental right. The idea of a healthy ecosystem and sustainable cities is gaining momentum in all parts of the world, thanks to the irreversible environmental damage which our planet has faced.
We interact with the environment and get affected by the happenings around us, which collectively impact our physical well-being. When a person receives new resources to consume, there are a lesser number of diseases and more reliable immune systems. According to WHO, 12.6 million people died in 2012 because of living or working in an unhealthy environment. These figures fluctuate each year, along with environmental dynamics.
3 factors that affect public health
The environment is not a singular term; it’s a collection of several factors that collectively define our living space. Following 3 are the central fields which impact our health and have the potential to improve the overall health standards across the globe:
Air pollution causes 7 million deaths each year because it contributes to a plethora of diseases. Heart strokes, lung diseases, viral infections, and allergies are the leading causes of these deaths. The UN has a precise policy to control air damage from the pollutants, but not all states follow those regulations. Fuel consumption and heat generation from power plants contaminates the outdoor air quality, which results in unhealthy living conditions. That’s why major production units are directed to be set away from living communities as they affect life quality.
Providing residents with safe drinking water is every state’s responsibility. However, due to the wastage of surface water and contaminated groundwater, a significant portion of the world doesn’t have access to clean drinking water. Around 0.4 million diarrhoeal deaths are reported annually, where water is the primary source of disease’s spread.
Solid waste is often considered as the biggest challenge for human health. The hazardous waste from factories and non-recyclable domestic residue makes it difficult for the authorities to maintain good living standards. Consequently, this waste spreads the chemical contamination of groundwater, which eventually impacts public health.
Enjoying a safe living environment is our fundamental right, which no one can deny. The authorities are responsible for taking precautionary measures and devising rules that protect public health from harmful environmental agents.