Environmental health addresses those aspects of human health and diseases that are caused by the factors in the environment. Identification, prevention and control of the effects are also included in environmental health study. It is actually focused on the natural and built environment for the benefit of human health. As it deals with both environment and human health, environmental pollution is a major concern. It also encompasses climate change and its effects on health, disaster preparedness and response, food safety, hazardous waste management, solid waste management, toxic chemical exposure, vector control including control of mosquitoes, rodents, etc., land use planning, etc.
Occupational health safety is one of the major concerns of environmental health. Employers and workers both have responsibilities and rights in relation to occupational safety and health (OSH). A preventive approach to OSH is the best strategy to eliminate most workplace accidents, injuries, and diseases. Improper and unhealthy work environment lessens worker’s productivity. For example, if a working place is not properly ventilated and lack in sufficient light, people can’t continue their work properly and many of them may become sick. In other cases, if an air conditioned bus contains an AC in such a position that doesn’t allow proper aeration in all the corners of the bus, passengers may get affected and become sick. If the horns used in vehicles are of very loud sound that exceeds the average allowable measure then it could affect people both inside and outside the vehicle.
Environmental Health in Bangladesh’s Perspective:
In Bangladesh National Policy on Disability 1995 and Bangladesh Disabled Welfare Act 2001-guarantee the equal rights and dignity of the persons with disabilities including the mentally retarded persons. But still the country is far behind this policy; larger population is not yet positive and willing to support the intellectually impaired children and people with mental illness. More than 11% of the children in Bangladesh live with an intellectual incapacity. Almost everyone has a family member or an acquaintance who is dealing with an incapacitated child. In countries like Bangladesh, children with incapacity are often inadequately prepared to occupy a rightful place in society. Mental illness is another problem which is also neglected in Bangladesh, although a large number of people are suffering from different types of mental illness in the same magnitude as that of the developed countries. Mental health problems in the aged persons are increasing in Bangladesh due to weakening of the traditional family structure and the family support system.
So we need to ensure environment friendly workplace for better productivity.
ESDO’s Initiatives on Environmental Health: