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14.1 Understanding Environmental Health

Environmental health aims to prevent illness, death, and disability by reducing exposure to harmful environmental conditions and promoting behavior change. Environmental health addresses primary and secondary causes of illnesses and injuries, encompassing topics such as air quality, water quality, food safety, hazardous waste management, and occupational health. Hazardous waste is dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment and originates from sources including industry, health care facilities, and households. Environmental health professionals monitor air quality and work to reduce pollutants to protect human health. Vulnerable populations, such as children, older adults, and low-income communities, are at higher risk from environmental burdens, and creating healthier environments can prevent a significant portion of the worldwide burden of disease.

14.2 Environmental Exposure and Health Outcomes

Environmental hazards and exposure are a growing concern, with factors like temperature and pollution impacting health in individuals and populations. Accurate information and risk management models are crucial for understanding and addressing environmental risks and empowering individuals and communities to take action. Environmental hazards originate from various sources, including industrial emissions and human activities, and can have adverse effects on human and animal health.

14.3 Environmental Health Assessment

The health of our environment is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being. With the increasing awareness of environmental pollution, it is essential to identify ways to measure pollutants in our environment.

14.4 Climate Change and Population Health

Green and sustainable development aims to balance environmental sustainability with social and economic growth, addressing climate change impacts on the environment and human health. Ecosystem management and restoration play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating deforestation, and decreasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Implementing green infrastructure and investing in energy-efficient cooling infrastructure and green spaces can help cities adapt to climate change, mitigate heat effects, and promote climate change adaptation.

14.5 Nursing Practice and Responsibilities in Environmental Health

Nurses play a crucial role in promoting and protecting public health. They need knowledge of environmental health to recognize and manage environmental risks that could impact their clients. Environmental health impacts client outcomes and health care workers’ well-being, and integration requires strategic steps and a hierarchy of controls to prevent exposure to contaminants. Nurses promote environmental justice as advocates, leveraging their platform to address climate change’s effects on public health and discussing the rights of future generations and vulnerable groups.


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