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ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

 

One of the prerequisites of preserving and strengthening health and preventing disease is a healthy environment. Risk factors are associated with factors in the wider environment such as atmospheric air, water and soil, and with foodstuffs, including drinking water and products for general use in which we are in direct contact or which make an important contribution to the narrower living environment.

 

The issue of climate change as an integral part of environmental impacts is becoming increasingly important. Climate change is already affecting health in various ways. To a large extent, human health depends on sufficient amounts of clean and healthy drinking water and food, adequate accommodation and good social conditions. All of the above will probably be affected by the changing climate. Studies show that more frequent and intense extraordinary weather events may be expected, particulary heat waves, drought and heavy precipitation, leading to a higher number of food- and water-related diseases and diseases transmitted by various agents/vectors, and to more allergy problems in the European region.

 

Therefore, the association between environment and health and the investigation of physical environmental impacts on health are becoming increasingly important.

In the future, more attention should be dedicated to sharing environmental data, data on health status and analyses of the environmental impact on health between different ministries. Epidemiological studies play an essential role in assessing health impacts.

In the public health sector, various databases on population health and data on environmental factors form the basis for analysing situations and forecasting future trends on which basis the Ministry of Health prepares proposals for promotional and preventive actions and general instructions for public health employees at the local level, for other healthcare professionals and the general population.