What is the relationship between our environmental health and our own health?
There are many different ways in which our environment can effect our health.
First, latitude and altitude affect health in several ways. If you live at high altitude or near the equator or increasingly, near the polar holes in the ozone layer, you are at increased risk of skin cancer unless you are very careful about applying sunscreen. People in cold and/or foggy climates at high latitudes are at increased risk of Vitamin D deficiency, especially during winter. Greenhouse gases which reduce the ozone layer lead to an increase in UV radiation and thus risk of skin cancers.
Pollutants or contaminants in water and air can adversely affect human health. Many components of air pollution increase risk of pulmonary and other diseases, and certain chemical contaminants in water may increase cancer risk. Polluted aquifers contaminate food. Hormone-disrupting chemicals, such as PCBs, which can pollute water supplies and soil, affect sexual development,