Human Health and The Environment


The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recently did a report on the effects of climate change on health, stating that it worsens existing diseases and conditions, helps to introduce new pests and pathogens, causes sea level rise, floods, and droughts, as well as heat waves and hurricanes.  With dangers of asthma, respiratory allergies, and other airway diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, foodborne diseases, neurological disease, and waterborne diseases, among others.

In the category of living in agricultural communities they have researched everything from the link between childrens asthma in locations near feedlots, to slight neurobehavioral behavior in children of farming communities, to lower semen quality among men and limb deformities among amphibians.

They are responsbile for thousands of findings in the categories of chemicals, air, water, waste, ozone, pesticides, mold, and electric and magnetic fields to name just a few.

The institute of Environmental health and human health (TIEHH) works with the department of Environmental Toxicology to research the environmental impact assessment of toxic chemicals with human health consequences.  They have been in charge of researching everything from declines in quail population to counter-terrorism efforts funded by the United States military.

The United States Geological survey, a scientific agency of the United States Government states that “Public health problems caused by environmental contamination and emerging infectious diseases are a growing concern worldwide. These public health threats are affected by the relationship between people and the physical, chemical, and biological nature of our natural environments.”  continuing, “Understanding environmental and ecological health is a prerequisite to protecting public health. “

These understandings are at the core of an emerging field of medicine which compares geographical location and disease called geo-medicine.  Bill Davenhall says that doctors have had it wrong.  When we go into the hospital the doctor asks two questions, he asks generally about your diet and your physical activity.  Davenhall argues that there is a third, very important component, where you’ve lived, as he says your ‘environment’, and as a biologist might say, your habitat.  The connections not only internationally but within the United States are startling. This map shows heart disease in the United States.


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