The environment is everything around us-the air we breathe, the water we drink and use, and the food we consume. It's also the chemicals, radiation, microbes, and physical forces with which we come into contact, says the Overview of the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2009a, b). The World Health Organization explains that in its broadest sense, environmental health comprises those aspects of human health, disease, and injury that are determined or influenced by factors in the environment. The field includes studying both direct pathological effects of numerous agents whether biological, chemical, or physical, but also the impact on health of the physical and social environment, such as land use, industry, housing, transportation, housing, and agriculture (WHO, 1997). The Environmental Health chapter of Healthy People 2010, the public health agenda for the United States from 2000 to 2010, extends this emphasis with the notion that decisions about the environment also affect quality of life and health. Decisions about how and where communities choose to grow, for example, impacts the amount of time people spend to go to work. Also, the decisions about where communities plan and place different components, such as housing, schools, shopping, and parks, affect access of these components by citizens living in the community (DHHS, 2001a; Jackson, 2003). Public health, therefore, has defined environment broadly, highlighting the varied ways in which health is affected.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Public Health Perspectives on Disability|
|Subtitle of host publication||Epidemiology to Ethics and Beyond|
|Publisher||Springer New York|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2011|
ASJC Scopus subject areas