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Environmental influences on health

In the XIX th century, concerns about the environment have based preventive medicine and public health. But over the years, our environment has changed dramatically giving rise to new risks, which could also have adverse effects on our health. If environmental factors do not really specific condition that they contribute to chronic conditions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a method to evaluate the influence of environmental factors on health: an approach known as the ” global burden of disease “based on the development of an indicator that combines mortality and morbidity.
Internationally, fourth disease would be attributable to the environment: primarily water-related diarrhea and respiratory diseases related to air pollution . Calculating the proportion of cancers attributable to all environmental factors is, in turn, very difficult to evaluate for certain individual behavior (smoking, for example) and occupational exposures are environmental risks, while for others they are not. These differences mean that the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) estimated at 0.5% the proportion of cancers related to air pollution, water and food, while three U.S. government agencies estimate that at least two thirds of cancers are attributable to environmental factors.

The list of environmental risk factors is long. Large temperature variations, for example, can cause heat stress may sound on the health of the population beyond the year 2050, experts predict a second summer will be marked by a heat wave . Although winters are mild, the temperature difference between the seasons is more marked.

If the emission of pollutants today tends to be controlled in many countries, air pollution remains greater because of climate change.
And the effects of this pollution are catalyzed by the pollens that are increasingly abundant. Pollination increases due to changes in plant distribution. In 1900, a level ragweed pollen produced 5 grams, today it’s 10 grams of pollen and production is expected to double again over the decades. 20% of French people currently suffer from pollen-related, such as rhinitis, conjunctivitis, respiratory problems.

Most infectious diseases are influenced by climate, mainly water-borne diseases, food, vectors such as malaria, West Nile virus infection who won the world in recent years, the chikungunya and dengue in city recently .
Wildfires generate pollutants such as dioxins and furans, which will accumulate in soil for many years and sometimes cause food contamination.

Health and environment give rise to a new concept of prevention is to reduce the risk and not to do prevention in the strict sense. In this area, so there is no question of primary, secondary or tertiary.

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