Global warming and climate change are two of the greatest challenges faced today. However, the environment is not merely a matter of water, air pollution, or soil quality - it encompasses a broader range of issues. In this Report the European Public Health Alliance focuses on our closest environment, the one in which people are born, grow up, play, live, work and age.
According to the World Health Organization, between 14% and 19% of diseases are caused by environmental exposures. Moreover, more than 24% of deaths and 22% of disease in children under the age of 14 years old occur as a result of environmental exposure. Our closest environment influences our health in many ways. Exposure to bacteria, chemicals, pollutants, as well as to physical and biological factors are all potential dangers people are confronted with on a daily basis.
Thus, the constant interaction between our environment and our health raises a number of issues. Are our houses as safe as we would think? Are items we could not imagine living without really good for us? Numerous objects are part of our daily life without arousing any suspicions while these insignificant objects can actually be very harmful. Do we have to be cautious with everything? Should this close environment not be more protective?
EPHA’s Report is divided in two main parts:
1) To develop the environment in which people live and develop every day. While our houses are supposed to be associated with a space of safety, calm and confidence, they can actually present numerous dangers. In some situations, our flats and houses can be everything but a safe place.
2) Dedicated to the spaces we meet while leaving our homes: streets, roads, public spaces, etc. On our way to school, work or leisure activities, we are confronted with a number of situations that can hamper the full achievement of our capacities.
This report was intended to exhaustively cover the link between environment and health in its report, but to focus on certain aspects of this complex relation.