Human Environmental Hazards

The hazards humans face every day.

            The exposure to hazards in our environment brings us the risk of injury, disease, and death to people in one way or another (Boorse &Wright, 20011). Such things are called environmental hazards. There are four categories of human environmental hazards (Boorse &Wright, 20011). These hazards, which will be discussed further, are cultural, biological, physical, and chemical (Boorse &Wright, 20011).  

            Cultural hazards are brought on by what we do to ourselves. We subject ourselves to hazards all the time because we derive some kind of pleasure or benefit out of it (Boorse &Wright, 20011).  Because of this pleasure and/or benefit we get, we are more than willing to take risks and we either hope that we won’t suffer from the risk-taking or we go straight into denial and convince ourselves that those hazards won’t affect us.

            There are many examples of cultural hazards. Some of us smoke and/or drink alcohol to calm our nerves or to just to get some other pleasure out of it (Boorse &Wright, 20011).   Some people are adrenaline junkies and they go bungee jumping, sky diving, or drive too fast. Others commit crimes like robbery, prostitution, or murder to get money. Many people have lots of unsafe sex, which can lead to STI’s like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, or even HIV/AIDS (Boorse &Wright, 20011). Something as simple as laying out in the sun, going to the tanning bed, or even just living in the city can be considered as cultural hazards (Boorse &Wright, 20011).  Our society is full of people who engage in risky behavior, because there are so many things we can do that is full of risk.

            The second environmental hazard is biological (Boorse &Wright, 20011).  Until the 19th and 20th centuries, the world was ravaged with epidemics of pathogenic bacteria and viruses that killed millions of people (Boorse &Wright, 20011).  We now have antibiotics and immunizations that have eliminated and overcome many childhood diseases like polio and smallpox (Boorse &Wright, 2011).  We continue to be hosts, however, to other pathogenic bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans, and worms (Boorse &Wright, 2011).  “Approximately one-fourth of global deaths are due to infectious and parasitic diseases. The leading causes of death in this category are the acute respiratory infections (for example, pneumonia, diphtheria, influenza, and streptococcal infections), both bacterial and viral (Boorse &Wright, 2011, p.427).”

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