OVERVIEW

The quality of the environment directly affects a person’s health status and plays a major role in quality of life and years of healthy life lived. Safe air, land, and water are fundamental to a healthy community environment. An environment free of hazards such as secondhand smoke, carbon monoxide, allergens, lead, and toxic chemicals helps prevent disease and other health problems for all populations

  • Exposures to environmental and occupational hazards before and during pregnancy can increase the risk of subsequent health problems for infants and children. These problems include birth defects, developmental disabilities, and childhood cancer.

  • Children may be more vulnerable to environmental exposures than adults because their bodily systems are still developing and their behavior can expose them more to chemicals and organisms.

  • Asthma is the third ranking cause of non-injury-related hospitalization among children age 14 and younger.

  • Childhood lead poisoning reduces IQ, which can never be regained. Recent studies suggest that children with blood lead levels well below the Federal standard (10 ug/dl) can suffer from diminished IQ and effects on behavior.

  • Work-related factors, including occupational exposures to chemicals, excessive heat or cold, and noise, can create or worsen a variety of health problems, including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and heart disease.

FOR OLDER ADULTS:

  • Environmental hazards, including extreme temperatures, air quality, and pollution, can pose a significant risk to older adults, especially those with COPD or asthma.

CHILDREN and ADOLESCENTS

ADULTS

Environmental Quality