Environmental Health

The impact of our population growth on the ecosystem is an everywhere and scary. Experts are analyzing the carrying capacity of the earth, which is the largest population that can be supported indefinitely, given the resources available in the environment. Experts are saying by 2030, we will need two planets to meet the demand for resources for people to survive. One huge impact of the over growing of the population is on the impact on other species. Changes in the ecosystem are resulting in mass destruction of many species and their habitats. Rain forests are being depleted, oceans are being polluted, and over half of the world’s wetlands have been lost in the last century. Twelve percent of all birds are threatened, more than 100 species of mammals are already extinct, and tiger populations have declined by 95% in the last century. Another impacts of the population growth are food supply, land degradation and contamination of drinking water, and energy consumption. The most serious ways that overpopulation in harming our environment is everything that is listed above. We as humans need food and water to survive. Without these we will all die. Also, we need animals to survive on this plant too. Not only can a food sources but some animals help with the environment.

Air pollutants are either naturally occurring or anthropogenic, human caused. Naturally occurring air pollutants include particulate matter, like ash from a volcanic eruption. Anthropogenic sources include those caused by stationary sources and mobile sources. Stationary sources are power plants, factories, and refineries. Mobile sources are vehicles. The major contributors of mobile sources air pollutants are carbon monoxide, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxide. Photochemical smog, air quality index, acid deposition and acid rain, and ozone layer depletion are all components of air pollution. Smog is a brownish laze produced by the photochemical reaction of sunlight with hydrocarbons, nitrogen compounds, and other gases in vehicle exhaust. This is known as ozone pollution because ozone is a main component of smog. Long-term exposure poses serious health risks, especially in children, older adults, and pregnant women, and people with chronic respiratory disorders. The most noticeable effects of smog are difficulty breathing, burning eyes, headaches, and nausea. Air quality Index is the measurement of how clean or polluted the air is on a given day and if there is any health concerns related to air quality. AQI focuses on health effects that can happen within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. The ozone layer forms a protective stratum in the Earth’s stratosphere. The ozone layer protects our planet and its inhabitants from ultraviolent B radiations. UVB rays are the primary cause of skin cancer. This radiation damages DNA and weakens the immune systems. Certain atoms are causes the ozone molecules to break apart and ozone levels to be depleted. These chemicals are chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. Some changes you can take to reduce air pollution is to drive less if possible, ride your bike or walk more, take public transportation, or carpool with others.

Climate change and global warning is a major issue in the world. Climate change is the shift in typical weather patterns across the world. Changes in fluctuation in seasonal temperatures, rain or snowfall amounts, and the occurrence of catastrophic storms are all examples of climate change. We have seen all of these changes in the Massachusetts, Untied States, and around the world. Global warming is a type of climate change where average temperatures increase. Over 97% of scientists now agree the planet is warming and this warming has been driven primarily by human activity. Climate change poses major risks to lives, and excess greenhouse gases are the key culprits. The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon in which greenhouse gases like CO2, nitrous oxide, methane, CFCs, and hydrocarbons, form a layer in the atmosphere, allowing solar heat to pas through and trapping some of the heat close to the surface, where it warms the planet.

Two harmful water pollutants are point source and non point source. Point source pollutants enter a waterway at a specific location such as a rich or pipe. The two major entry points are sewage sewage treatment plants and industrial facilities. Non point source pollutants, runoff and sedimentation, drain or seep into waterways from soil erosion and sedimentation, construction wastes, pesticide and fertilizer runoff, street runoff, acid mine drainage, wastes from engineering projects, leakage from septic tanks, and sewage sludge. The five greatest potential harmful causing pollutants are gasoline and petroleum products, chemical contaminants, polychlorinated biphenyls (PBCs), dioxins, and pesticides. Here is a list of how people can reduce water waste:

In the Kitchen:

  • Turn off the tap while washing dishes.
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks.
  • Equip faucets with aerators to educe water use by 4%.
  • Wash only full dishwasher loads, using the energy-saving mode.
  • In the Laundry Room:
  • Wash only full laundry loads
  • Upgrade to a high-efficiency washing machine

In the Bathroom:

  • Detect and fix leaks.
  • Install a high-efficiency toilet that uses 60% less water.

Take showers instead of baths.

  • Replace old showerheads with efficient models that use 60% less water.
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth to save up to 8 gallons of water per day.

There are different ways that a person can adopt to control food-related solid waste.

  • Source reduction (waste prevention) involves altering the design, manufacture, or use of products and materials to reduce the amount and toxicity of what gets thrown away. MSW-reducing strategy is the most effective. MSW-reducing strategy is to prevent waste from ever being generated in the first place. This would be like some places taxing or banning plastic bags in stores.
  • Recycling involves sorting, collecting, and processing materials to be reused in the manufacture of new products.
  • E recycling involves properly disposing of trashed computers, televisions, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
  • Composting involves collecting organic waste, such as food scraps and yard trimmings, and allowing it to decompose with the help of microorganisms. At my house we have a composting bin in our backyard. My father puts old vegetables, food scraps, and the trimmings from branches in the yard.
  • Combustion with energy recovery involves the use of boilers and industrial furnaces to incinerate waste and use the burning process to generate energy.

Five changes that I can on a daily basis to help the environment are turning lights off when leaving a room or restroom. Most of the time I forget to turn off the lights when leaving a public restroom like Starbucks. I can make it more of a happen to remember to turn them off when I am done. When going to be the grocery, which isn’t necessarily every day, I can bring my reusable shopping bags. I always forget them when I go on Sunday or Monday. Instead I will make a conscious effort to bring them. Another daily lifestyle change, which I have been doing the last couple of weeks, is using a reusable water bottle. I have been increasing my intake of water and had been using plastic water bottles instead of my water bottle. I am happy to report on both that I have been using my water bottle more and drinking more water than I had been. I also can make better decisions in recycling plastic items and cardboard. I have been lacking in this. I also can make at least one or two days of the week a meatless day/days. Eating more vegetables, nuts, legumes, and other food crops will help reduce the consumption of meat, dairy, and animal products.

This chapter relates to my health aspect of clean eating and health in as a whole. I try to eat as much fruits and vegetables that I can. I have limited my meat intake as much as possible. I usually have one day of no meat. Keeping our Earth clean and healthy is very IMPORTANT! I know that I have been trying to do better in keeping the Earth clean by recycling and eliminating waste. This year my dad asked for solar panels for Christmas. My bothers and I got him a few. Which will help us eliminate our use of fossil fuels.

This week has been a good one, well in my eyes! LOL. I have been watching what I have been eating, eliminated my night outs, and increased my exercise! I have been drinking my water and cut out the soda completely.

In the picture is my mom and dad when we went to dinner the other night! They love taking selfies lol!

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