In 2022, environmental health concerns are emerging as a major public health issue. With the changes in our climate, increased industrialization of urban areas, and more people living in close proximity to one another than ever before, the health threats posed by these environmental factors have become increasingly relevant. From air pollution and water contamination to food insecurity and hazardous waste disposal, environmental hazards pose a variety of risks to human health.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the most pressing environmental health concerns that are expected to affect us in 2022. If you’re not familiar with or have yet to hear about them in your day-to-day life, I’ll be giving some brief information here so that you may be able to take it with you and look deeper into each of these topics.
Air pollution is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a major contributor to climate change. Air pollutants are primarily emitted from industrial activities, vehicle emissions, and the burning of fossil fuels. In addition to causing respiratory diseases, air pollution has also been linked to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.
In 2023, local governments should aim to develop strong air quality regulations that are strictly enforced to reduce air pollution levels. Solutions may include incentives for companies that switch to clean energy sources (such as electric vehicles or renewable energy), stricter automotive emission standards or fuel taxes, or investments in public transportation infrastructure.
On a personal level, you can also help reduce air pollution by choosing to walk or bike instead of driving and by avoiding burning materials that can release toxic pollutants.
Like air pollution, water contamination should not come as a complete surprise to most. Indeed, water contamination is a global public health concern due to its potential to cause serious illnesses and disease outbreaks. In 2022, it’s expected that water contamination will continue to be a major problem in many countries due to the lack of safe sanitation systems, inadequate infrastructure for wastewater treatment, and pollution from agricultural activities.
In order to address this issue at scale, governments should focus on providing access to clean drinking water and investing in improved wastewater management systems. Additionally, they should implement regulations that limit what kinds of chemicals and toxins are allowed into our rivers, lakes, oceans, and other
As an individual who is aiming to help the water contamination, you have a few options. Try to limit your water consumption, avoid products that contain microbeads, and switch to non-toxic cleaning products. Additionally, avoid using single use plastics when possible, as they oftenend up in our waterways (or in the ocean) and can leak chemicals into the environment. Lastly, join a local river clean up or volunteer at a beach cleanup event if you’re looking to take direct action as soon as possible.
Exposure to Hazardous Materials
Exposure to hazardous materials is another major environmental health concern that we must be aware of in 2022. Hazardous materials include chemicals and other substances such as lead, asbestos, mold, and pesticides that can cause serious illnesses if left unchecked.
To reduce exposure to hazardous materials, governments should invest in improved safety protocols for workplaces and residences. For example, many countries are now implementing laws requiring employers to provide workers with protective equipment when working with potentially harmful substances. Additionally, they should also consider investing in systems that can detect the presence of these materials in our environment and take immediate action when necessary.
On a personal level, you can make an effort to limit your own exposure by reading product labels carefully before buying them — this will help you to understand the potential risks associated with each product. Additionally, you can also opt for natural alternatives when it comes to cleaning products (such as vinegar and baking soda) which are both safer and more environmentally friendly.
These are just a few of the environmental health concerns that we will have to keep in mind in 2023. While these issues may seem daunting at first, the good news is that there are steps we can all take to protect our own health and that of our environment.
By educating ourselves on the risks associated with air pollution, water contamination, and hazardous materials exposure, we can make informed decisions that will help us lead healthier lives in 2022 and beyond.