How Environmental Health Impacts Our Quality of Life and Health

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How Environmental Health Impacts Our Quality of Life and Health

We don’t always see it, but our environment is shaping our health every moment of every day. Where we live, what we eat, and how we interact with the world around us can tip the scales (sometimes literally) between healthy or not. That’s where environmental health professionals, policies, and programs all come into play.

While we tend to think about health in terms of personal choices—like whether we exercise or get vaccinated—a lot of external things can influence how healthy we are, including whether we get sick or injured. Environmental stressors and advantages help shape the kinds of choices you make, or in some cases, make the choices for you.


What Is Environmental Health?

Many people often think of environmental health in terms of clean air and water, but natural environmental forces—including things like global warming—are only one piece of a greater puzzle.

Environmental health is the public health field that monitors and addresses those physical, chemical, and biological factors that we might not have direct control over, but can impact our health anyway. For example, if you live in a neighborhood with unsafe sidewalks or polluted air, it’s difficult to get outside and exercise. Similarly, what your home was built with, what insects live nearby, and what food you have access to all can affect your health and the health of your family.

Simply put, environmental health is the area of public health that deals with all the different ways the world around us can impact our physical and mental well-being.


Areas of Environmental Health

Environmental health is one of the largest fields within public health because of the myriad ways external forces can impact how we eat, live, and grow. These forces can be about addressing our natural environment (as in the case for clean water or sanitation), but they can also be the consequence of human beings’ actions—including societal norms.

Healthy People 2020’s environmental health objectives highlight six key areas that encompass the various ways environmental health is crucial to the health of communities.


Air Quality

Air is non-negotiable for humans. We need it to survive, but we don’t always take care to keep it clean, and that can have a significant impact on our health.

Poor air quality has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including SIDS, lung cancer, and COPD. Air pollution is also linked to low birth weight. One study published in 2005 found that babies born to pregnant women exposed to high levels of ozone during the second and third trimester were more likely than their non-exposed peers to be born with a lower birth weight. The effect was similar to that seen in infants whose mothers smoked during their pregnancy.

In the United State of American, The Clean Air Act of 1970 sought to change all that. It marked the first time the federal government took responsibility for protecting the air quality for all U.S. citizens by regulating harmful emissions from things like cars and factories. The act was later expanded in 1990 to address acid rain and ozone depletion—and it’s working. In its 2011 prospective report, the Environmental Protection Agency projected that the Clean Air Act would prevent more than 230,000 early deaths by 2020.

In Nigeria, we are yet to put such Act into practice. In year 2016, the World Bank reported that 94% of the population in Nigeria is exposed to air pollution levels that exceed WHO guidelines (compared to 72% on average in Sub-Saharan Africa in general) and air pollution damage costs about 1% post of Gross National Income. Ambient air pollution is a major contributor to mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.


Water and Sanitation

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 780 million people worldwide don’t have access to safe drinking water, and a jaw-dropping 2.5 billion (or roughly a third of Earth’s population) lack adequate sanitation services like clean bathrooms. The impact of this is staggering. An estimated 2,200 children die every day worldwide of diarrhea diseases linked to improper water and sanitation.

The simple act of filtering and chlorinating water systems has resulted in significant declines in once-common diseases like typhoid. By one estimate, for every $1 invested in clean water technologies, the country gets back $23 in associated medical and societal cost savings, and that clean water was responsible for the bulk of the decline in childhood mortality in USA.


Toxic Substances and Hazardous Wastes

Toxicology—that is, the area of science devoted to understanding how chemicals and substances can affect people and their surroundings—is an important field in environmental health. Many of the materials needed to advance industries and technology, like heavy metals or even some plastics, can also hurt the human body and even lead to serious medical conditions.

One of the most recent, highly publicized examples of this happening is the Flint water crisis. When news broke in 2015 that the drinking water in Flint, Michigan was loaded with lead, it prompted widespread outrage and fear among families. If kids drink or digest lead, it can lead to long-term health complications, including brain damage, and in the case of Nigeria, it was the economically disadvantaged kids who were most affected.

More than 40 percent of the population in Flint lives below the poverty line, roughly 2.8 times the national average poverty rate in the United States. The county where the town resides has a history of poor health, ranking 81st out of 82 Michigan counties for health outcomes. The crisis was a prime example of how environmental health issues often hurt those whose health status is already most at risk.


Homes and Communities

We spend the bulk of our time at home, work, or school, so it’s important that these places be safe with minimal hazards, as well as be conducive to a healthy lifestyle. When a neighborhood has a lot of violence, for example, families might not go outside to exercise. When roads aren’t properly maintained, it can result in more car crashes.

An emerging field in this area of environmental health is that of food access. Many neighborhoods throughout Nigeria do not have full-service grocery stores nearby. In their absence, residents often have to rely on convenience stores. This can be expensive, but most importantly, it can mean fewer or poorer quality options for fresh fruits and vegetables—a vital part of a healthy diet. For families in these areas, it can be a struggle to make healthy choices, exacerbating existing health disparities for low-income and minority populations especially.

In an effort to offset the impact of these “food deserts,” environmental health professionals are urging communities to establish public gardens where residents can grow and harvest their own fresh produce, improve access to public transportation to full-service grocery stores and farmers markets, and change zoning laws to incentivise retailers to offer healthier food options.


Infrastructure and Surveillance 

A primary piece of any public health strategy is information. By understanding what the risks are and where environmental health professionals can better deploy resources to prevent or combat them. This includes investigating and responding to diseases—a field called epidemiology—as well as screening populations for hazards and establishing surveillance programs.

Surveillance activities involve either going out and looking for particular health concerns (active surveillance) or by asking professionals in other fields, such as medicine or agriculture, to alert environmental health agencies when they encounter them (passive surveillance).

An example of this in action is mosquito surveillance and abatement activities. These programs test mosquitoes for certain things, including the presence of dangerous infections like Zika virus, as well as monitor populations to ensure control measures are working. This information can help health officials know what to watch for in doctors’ offices, direct local governments on where and how best to spray for mosquitoes, and alert the public if a mosquito-borne illness is spreading in the area.


Global Environmental Health

In the coming decades, environmental health professionals are bracing for a warmer, wetter climate that will likely prompt or exacerbate threats to our public health across the globe.

As temperatures increase, for example, disease-carrying mosquitoes can live in areas previously too cold for them to survive, upping the number of people impacted by vector-borne illnesses like dengue and malaria. As sea levels rise, whole coastal cities and island nations are at risk for flooding, sending potentially millions of displaced people to crowded areas where diseases can spread quickly.

Protecting the health of the planet is critical to improving and maintaining the health of the entire global population. Environmental hazards and infectious diseases know no geopolitical boundaries. People today are traveling farther and more often than ever before, and conflicts in areas like Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan are causing millions to flee their homes.

These increases in cross-border and cross-continental movements have the potential to threaten disease prevention efforts and overextend existing infrastructure. That’s why it’s crucial that countries look beyond their borders to improve the health of the global population—not just their own.


How You Can Help Protect and Improve Environmental Health

Unlike diet and exercise, many environmental health factors are not something that can be exclusively managed at the individual level. Combating the risk they pose often takes laws, policies, and programs at the local, federal, and international level.

It’s unrealistic, for example, for everyone to inspect the kitchens of restaurants they frequent or to test their water for heavy metals. That’s why we have trained and qualified food safety inspectors and toxicologists who use rigid, standardized screening and inspection measures to ensure our food and water are safe to consume. It takes a comprehensive and coordinated effort across a vast environmental health system to protect the health and safety of communities throughout the nation and globe.

That being said, there are many things you can do to protect the environmental health and safety of your community and throughout the planet. You can help improve air quality by riding your bike, taking mass transportation, or switching to telecommuting instead of driving a car to and from work.

You can check your own home for radon or lead paint or pipes to prevent exposure to toxic substances. And you can talk with your local governments and businesses about investing in environmental health activities that ensure every neighbourhood has access to safe environments to live, work, and play.


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  1. Whether or not you believe in God, read this message!

    Throughout time, we can see how we have been carefully conditioned coming to this point where we are on the verge of a cashless society. Did you know that Jesus foretold of this event almost 2,000 years ago?

    In the last book of the Bible, Revelation 13:16-18, we will read,

    “He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles–Revelation 19:20) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last generation, this could only be speaking of a cashless society. Why so? Revelation 13:17 states that we cannot buy or sell unless we receive the mark of the beast. If physical money was still in use, we could buy or sell with one another without receiving the mark. This would contradict scripture that states we need the mark to buy or sell!

    These verses could not be referring to something purely spiritual as scripture references two physical locations (our right hand or forehead) stating the mark will be on one “OR” the other. If this mark was purely spiritual, it would indicate both places, or one–not one OR the other!

    This is where it really starts to come together. It is incredible how accurate the Bible is concerning the implantable RFID microchip. Here are notes from someone named Carl Sanders who worked with a team of engineers to help develop this RFID chip:

    “Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

    Carl Sanders, with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies supplied by tax dollars, took on this project and designed a microchip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible (Brother Sanders was not a Christian at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.

    Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand (the two places the Bible says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, criminal record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

    Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.” Carl believes this is referring to a hypodermic needle when they poke into the skin to inject the microchip.”

    Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor replied by saying a terrible sore would appear in that location. This is what the book of Revelation says:

    “And the first (angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).

    You can read more about it here–and to also understand the mystery behind the number 666: https://2RUTH.ORG

    The third angel’s warning in Revelation 14:9-11 states,

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.'”

    Great hope is in our midst, and is coming in a mighty way–the greatest revival for Jesus in the history of the world where we will see the most souls come to Him of all tribes, tongues, nations, and peoples (Rev. 7:9-10); for we have this promise in God’s Word in the midst of these dark times:

    “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years (not literal–rather a spiritual label for time spent in eternity); and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while (when the Antichrist and false prophet will rise up and God will test the world).” (Revelation 20:1-3)

    “The coming of the lawless one (the Antichrist) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)”

    Who is Barack Obama, and why is he still involved in politics?

    So what about his name? The meaning of someone’s name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface.

    Jesus states in Luke 10:18, “…I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

    The Hebrew Strongs word (H1299) for “lightning”: “bârâq” (baw-rawk)

    In Isaiah chapter 14, verse 14, we read about Lucifer (Satan) saying in his heart:

    “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”

    In the verses in Isaiah that refer directly to Lucifer, several times it mentions him falling from the heights or the heavens. The Hebrew word for the heights or heavens used here is Hebrew Strongs 1116: “bamah”–Pronounced (bam-maw’)

    In Hebrew, the letter “Waw” or “Vav” is often transliterated as a “U” or “O,” and it is primarily used as a conjunction to join concepts together. So to join in Hebrew poetry the concept of lightning (Baraq) and a high place like heaven or the heights of heaven (Bam-Maw), the letter “U” or “O” would be used. So, Baraq “O” Bam-Maw or Baraq “U” Bam-Maw in Hebrew poetry similar to the style written in Isaiah, would translate literally to “Lightning from the heights.” The word “Satan” in Hebrew is a direct translation, therefore “Satan.”

    When Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 10:18 that He beheld Satan fall like lightning from heaven, if this were to be stated by a Jewish Rabbi today influenced by the poetry in the book of Isaiah, he would say these words in Hebrew–the words of Jesus in Luke 10:18 as, and I saw Satan as Baraq O Bam-Maw.

    The names of both of Obama’s daughters are Malia and Natasha. If we write those names backward (the devil does things backwards) it would be “ailam ahsatan”. If we remove the letters that spell “Alah” (Allah being the false god of Islam), we would get “I am Satan”. Mere chance? I don’t think so!

    Obama’s campaign logo when he ran as President in 2008 was a sun over the horizon in the west, with the landscape as the flag of the United States. In Islam, they have their own messiah that they are awaiting called the 12th Imam, or the Mahdi (the Antichrist of the Bible), and one prophecy concerning this man’s appearance is the sun rising in the west.

    “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.'” (Revelation 14:6-7)

    Why have the words of Jesus in His Gospel accounts regarding His death, burial, and resurrection, been translated into over 3,000 languages, and nothing comes close (the Quran about 110 languages)? Because the same Spirit of God (YHVH) who created all people likewise transcends all people; therefore the power of His Word is not limited by people; while all other religions are man-made, therefore they tend to primarily stay within their own culture. The same God who speaks to all people through His creation of the heavens and earth that draws all people around the world likewise has sent His Word to the ends of the earth so that we may come to personally know Him to be saved in spirit and in truth through His Son Jesus Christ.

    Jesus stands alone among the other religions that say to rightly weigh the scales of good and evil and to make sure you have done more good than bad in this life. Is this how we conduct ourselves justly in a court of law? Bearing the image of God, is this how we project this image into reality?

    Our good works cannot save us. If we step before a judge, being guilty of a crime, the judge will not judge us by the good we have done, but rather by the crimes we have committed. If we as fallen humanity, created in God’s image, pose this type of justice, how much more a perfect, righteous, and Holy God?

    God has brought down His moral laws through the 10 commandments given to Moses at Mt. Siani. These laws were not given so we may be justified, but rather that we may see the need for a savior. They are the mirror of God’s character of what He has written in our hearts, with our conscious bearing witness that we know that it is wrong to steal, lie, dishonor our parents, murder, and so forth.

    We can try and follow the moral laws of the 10 commandments, but we will never catch up to them to be justified before a Holy God. That same word of the law given to Moses became flesh about 2,000 years ago in the body of Jesus Christ. He came to be our justification by fulfilling the law, living a sinless perfect life that only God could fulfill.

    The gap between us and the law can never be reconciled by our own merit, but the arm of Jesus is stretched out by the grace and mercy of God. And if we are to grab on, through faith in Him, He will pull us up being the one to justify us. As in the court of law, if someone steps in and pays our fine, even though we are guilty, the judge can do what is legal and just and let us go free. That is what Jesus did almost 2,000 years ago on the cross. It was a legal transaction being fulfilled in the spiritual realm by the shedding of His blood with His last word’s on the cross crying out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

    For God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23). This is why in Isaiah chapter 53, where it speaks of the coming Messiah and His soul being a sacrifice for our sins, why it says it pleased God to crush His only begotten Son.

    This is because the wrath that we deserve was justified by being poured out upon His Son. If that wrath was poured out on us, we would all perish to hell forever. God created a way of escape by pouring it out on His Son whose soul could not be left in Hades but was raised and seated at the right hand of God in power.

    So now when we put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14), where God no longer sees the person who deserves His wrath, but rather the glorious image of His perfect Son dwelling in us, justifying us as if we received the wrath we deserve, making a way of escape from the curse of death; now being conformed into the image of the heavenly man walking in a new nature, and no longer in the image of the fallen man Adam.

    Now what we must do is repent and put our trust and faith in the savior, confessing and forsaking our sins, and to receive His Holy Spirit that we may be born again (for Jesus says we must be born again to see and enter the Kingdom of God in John chapter 3). This is not just head knowledge of believing in Jesus, but rather receiving His words, taking them to heart, so that we may truly be transformed into the image of God. Where we no longer live to practice sin, but rather turn from our sins and practice righteousness through faith in Him in obedience to His Word by reading the Bible.

    Our works cannot save us, but they can condemn us; it is not that we earn our way into everlasting life, but that we obey our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Jesus says,

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

    “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:9)

    “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’

    Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’

    And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'” (Revelation 21:1-8)

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