Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



January 2010

Health effects of the major environmental health concerns

by Staff, on air pollution, disease, ecosystems, effect, environmental, environmental health concern, food, global warming, health, pollution, tox town, toxic substances, waste, water, water sources

There government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, that have information on environmental health concerns across the country. It is important to know the effects of the major environmental health concerns so that you can see the seriousness of taking action. The website of EPA,, and the websites of FDA, NIEHS, and other federal agencies such as the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry or ATSDR, have information on the effects of environmental health concerns.

A major environmental health concern is global warming. This is caused by the greenhouse effect on the planet’s atmosphere due to greenhouse gasses. This has led to rise in sea levels, increased cases of flooding, destruction of coral reefs and the subsequent death of marine life, destruction of ecosystems and subsequent migration of animals, and prolonged draught. The effects of global warming have been heavily felt in Africa and other developing countries – this is ironical because they contribute the least to global warming. These are countries that already had problems with food security, and these countries cannot adapt easily due to lack of funds and expertise. The food insecurity has led to malnutrition and death. The increase in sea level and the floods have led to death and destruction of property and infrastructure and the increase in cases of waterborne diseases. The migration of animals due to destruction of ecosystems means they bring human and animal diseases to new places.

Another of the major environmental health concerns is the damping of toxic waste. This has led to the contamination of toxic waste to aquifers and other water sources. This has led to Cancer Clusters and the spread of other diseases. Some effects are so severe that mothers are having still births and others are giving birth to deformed babies generations after the first case.

Air pollution is a major environmental health concern. Air pollution is caused by the release of toxic substances into the atmosphere by industries, by cars, by wildfires, and/or by the burning of waste. This leads to the mixture of toxic gases with the air we breathe and this causes breathing problems and eye problems. Air pollution is also causing acid rain – this is harmful to the skin and it contaminates the food and the water sources, leading to all kinds of medical problems.

Mold, although not as serious as water and air pollution, is still a significant environmental health concern. Mold grows in moist places and it can lead to worsening of Asthma. It also leads to other problems such as throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, skin and eye irritation, and coughing.

Another major environmental health concern is improper disposal of waste. This leads to vector control issues, including the control of flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and rodents such as rats. These animals can transmit pathogens from one home to the next and they can lead to serious outbreaks. This can be remedied by recycling of all waste that is not bio degradable.

Finally, another of the major environmental health concerns, noise pollution, causes psychological problems and ear problems. Staff