Addressing: The Four Categories of Human Environmental Hazards Everest Online University EVS1001-26 Environmental Science Professor Deborah Builder September 6th, 2012 The Four Categories of Human Environmental Hazards There are many exposures to hazards in our environment today that brings along the risk of an injury, different types of diseases, and even in some cases death. These hazards are called human environmental hazards.
There are four categories to human environmental hazards which we will discover and discuss further in detail and they consist of cultural hazards, biological hazards, physical hazards, and chemical hazards (Wright & Boorse, 2011). We first begin with Cultural Hazards. Cultural hazards can result from the places we live, our sexual practices, hazardous occupation, or by our behavior decisions that we make. Cultural hazards can be brought on by the choices we make and the risks we take.
We subject ourselves to hazards because of the kind of pleasure or benefit we feel we get out of it (Wright & Boorse, 2011). We take risks and we convince ourselves that those hazards won’t affect us. In reality roughly 40% of all deaths in the U. S. can be tracked back to cultural hazards and in some cases those deaths could have been avoided if those individuals would have refrained from their behavior choices (Wright & Boorse, 2011). Some examples of cultural hazards are smoking and drinking to calm our nerves, relax or to just for the pleasure of it.
Some people like to drive too fast being considered risk takers. There are many individuals who are having unsafe sex, which can lead from anything from STD’s like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes to even AIDS which in the end will take their life (Wright & Boorse, 2011). Even something so simple as laying out in the sun, engorging in too much food, not getting enough exercise, criminal activities such as stealing cars, robbery or even from living in the city.
The society we live in today is full of individuals who engage in such risky behavior, their decisions are a matter of choices they make (Wright & Boorse, 2011). The second environmental hazard we will look at is Biological Hazards. Up until around the 19th and 20th centuries, the world became overwhelmed with serious issues such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses that took millions of people lives. We now have available medicines and shots that have disposed of many of these childhood sicknesses such as polio and smallpox (Wright & Boorse, 2011).
But the battle is not over, every person in every society are hosts to pathogenic bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans, and worms. There are approximately one-fourth of these deaths that are due to serious issues such as infectious and parasitic diseases. The leading causes of death are from acute respiratory infections and pneumonia has been by far the most deadliest and serious of them all (Wright & Boorse, 2011). The third environmental hazard is Physical Hazards.
These types of hazards occur naturally, and are the outcome of hydrological, meteorological, or geological forces. Physical hazards are natural disasters such as hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, twisters, tsunamis, earthquakes, and floods (Wright & Boorse, 2011). These hazards can come from nowhere and have little to no warnings before they hit. Natural hazards are usually experienced by the least fortunate also known as the poor who are not able of dealing with their effects of these disasters.
Climate change can and probably will have an effect on the future natural disasters as the temperatures and seal levels continue to rise (Wright & Boorse, 2011). The last category we look at is that of Chemical Hazards. These hazards are toxic and people can be exposed to these chemicals through using it directly or handling it indirectly, absorbing it through the skin, breathing in contaminated air, or even consuming it through their contaminated food or drinks (Wright & Boorse, 2011).
Different people have different thresholds of toxicity for substances so it affects each of us differently. There are many of these chemicals that are considered to be cancer-causing agents. There are approximately 51different chemicals and three biological chemical agents that are known to be carcinogens, and there are 188 more that are expected to be from human carcinogens because of the results that have stemmed from the testing of animals.
Toxic chemicals can include anything from cleaning supplies, fuels, pesticides, paints, medicines and waste (Wright & Boorse, 2011). In conclusion, there are four categories of human environmental hazards. Cultural hazards are considered to be what we cause through our decisions and risk taking. Biological hazards consist of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, and are unavoidable in the environment we live in. Physical hazards are considered natural disasters that occur such as floods, hurricanes, and twisters.
Chemical hazards can be found in anything that is made of chemicals and may be carcinogenic. We are all exposed to these types of environmental hazards on a routine basis. The more we know, the better we can educate ourselves, and be safe and healthy and avoid these environmental hazards to the best of our ability. Reference Wright, R. , & Boorse, D. (2011). Environmental science toward a sustainable future. (11th ed. ). San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education Inc.