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Environmental Quality - An Overview

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Environmental quality significantly impacts the environment and population; the article below will provide more information.

Written by

Dr. Saranya. P

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop

Published At March 22, 2023
Reviewed AtJune 8, 2023


Many factors can influence and be influenced by environmental quality. Understanding its drivers and how to evaluate them is critical due to the potentially enormous (beneficial and harmful) consequences on environments and populations. The knowledge gained through various measuring techniques enables the management of environmental quality threats and inadequacies, which is required to enhance and prevent damage.

Human development can be measured mainly by the quality of the environment since people are changing the environment more and more to suit their demands. As a result, if an area's environmental quality is poor, it is frequently due to anthropogenic interference.

What Is Environmental Quality?

"Environmental quality" refers to a group of ecological traits that impact people and other living things, whether general or specific. It is a way to assess how well an environment meets the needs of one or more species and any needs or purposes related to humans.

Environmental quality refers to both the constructed environment and the natural environment. It encompasses factors like air quality, water quality or pollution, noise levels, and any potential consequences that these factors may have on one's physical and emotional well-being.

What Are the Primary Forms of Environmental Quality?

The following are the primary categories of ecological quality:

  • Air.

  • Water.

  • Forest.

  • Land.

Why Is the Environmental Quality of Air Essential?

The earth's atmosphere is the primary component of all living beings. The world's 200 million square miles of surface area are covered in air. The most widely used natural resource, which nobody can exclude, is air, which is why people so thoroughly pollute it.

What Is Air Pollution?

It is the presence of one or more pollutants or combinations of pollutants in the outdoor atmosphere in such amounts and for such lengths that they may be or tend to be harmful to human, plant, or animal life or property or to the way the business works.

What Are the Various Sources of Air Pollution?

Different sorts of air contaminants exist. Pollutants are divided into primary and secondary categories. Primary pollutants are those released directly into the atmosphere, and secondary pollutants are created from chemical interactions in the environment.

The most popular air pollution sources are as follows:

  • Carbon monoxide is released by cars with engines that run on fuel made from oil and are used for transportation and heating.

  • Hydrocarbons are primarily released by automobiles and also from industrial plant exhausts.

  • Nitrogen oxide emissions from industrial facilities, power plants, and cars.

  • Sulfur oxides, which industrial facilities, power plants, and automobiles mainly produce

  • Particulate matter is released from factories, waste disposal facilities, and power plants.

How Does Decreased Air Quality Affect Humans?

Polluted air enters the human body primarily through the respiratory system, and contaminants enter the throat, lungs, and other respiratory organs. As a result, air pollution leads to illnesses such as bronchitis, tuberculosis, asthma, and influenza.

What Makes Water a Part of Environmental Quality?

Water is a crucial ecosystem component for all living things, including humans. It takes up over 70% of the human body's weight. Unfortunately, most water resources are deteriorating due to rapid population growth and industrialization.

What Is Water Pollution?

Water is contaminated when its quality or composition changes due to human activity, either directly or indirectly, so it becomes worthless or less acceptable for drinking. It may be "any human action that hinders water usage as a resource."

The main threat to water quality comes from the discharge of sewage, industrial waste, and a wide range of synthetic chemicals into water sources like rivers, streams, and lakes. Rivers and lakes, which provide water and are harmed by the flora and animals found in the rivers, now contain the effluents of several enterprises. A condition is attained when the river's content turns poisonous and unfit for any purpose.

What Effect Does Polluted Water Have on Humans?

Water-borne diseases have been eradicated in most wealthy countries but not in poor ones. Water-borne pathogens or disease-producing organisms play a crucial role in disease transmission.

Drinking water contaminated with chemicals like pesticides, fertilizers, and heavy metals can harm one's health.

Microplastics can be consumed through contaminated seafood or drinking polluted water. For example, in 2016, scientists in Tokyo Bay investigated 64 anchovies for microplastic intake; 77% contained microplastics in their digestive systems.

Why Is Forest Considered an Environmental Quality?

The forest is a strange entity that possesses boundless goodness and kindness. Instead of placing demands on people, it provides them with the goods they need for life and activity. They benefit humanity by acting as producers and guardians of a healthy environment. They also offer garments, textiles, food, gasoline, fiber, building materials, industrial goods, and packaging materials.

How Does Deforestation Affect Human Health?

Healthy forests are massive air cleaners. The result of deforestation is the reverse. The air quality worsens due to removing a vital source of cleaner air and carbon dioxide emissions. Poor air quality has profound implications. The World Health Organization estimates outdoor air pollution kills 4.2 million people yearly. Those who live are at risk for various heart and lung diseases.

Why Is Land Considered a Part of Environmental Quality?

Land is a scarce resource essential to all human needs and activities. It serves as the basis for all economic endeavors and the source of all natural resources. Moreover, the land is just the earth's surface, where all kinds of human activity are possible.

Agriculture-related activities, including irrigation, sowing, and plowing, have all been done on land. It has been applied to housing and urbanization. It is the foundation for industrialization. Humans rely on the ground for transportation. The land is an energy source because it is covered in forests, mountains, and deserts. Consequently, it is well established that land contributes to environmental quality.

What Effect Does Land Pollution Have on Humans?

Land pollution can have a range of adverse effects on the human body. People can consume toxic waste and pollutants. Land contamination is also a result of the dangerous disposal of radioactive waste. Long-term health effects include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and brain damage.

What Are the Factors That Affect Environmental Quality?

Examples of elements that may impact an environment's quality include the following:

  • Noise.

  • Traffic/congestion.

  • Litter.

  • Existence of green spaces.

  • Distance from necessities.

The environmental quality of a region may be compromised if certain elements are prominent. Some of the elements, however, can promote better environmental quality.

How Can Humans Preserve Excellent Environmental Quality?

It is crucial to consider all potential influences on environmental quality to maintain or acquire good quality. Then, actions can be taken to either completely resolve the problem or lessen the harm caused by prevailing factors.

  • Noise: The environment can suffer from noise pollution. To address this, it is critical to identify the sources of noise pollution. For example, one may attribute noise pollution in many locations to traffic, industry, and activity inside buildings. Common traffic management strategies include implementing speed limits, speed bumps, and road narrowing to slow down traffic and reduce noise, promoting electric (low-noise) cars, and implementing noise mapping and zoning to track noise levels.

  • Traffic/Congestion: Traffic and congestion can harm the environment by increasing emissions and causing noise pollution. As a result, initiatives have been introduced globally to lessen the effects of congestion as environmental awareness grows. These policies can be broadly divided into two categories: those promoting alternate modes of transportation and those discouraging reliance on automobiles.

  • Litter: The cleanup of existing litter and subsequent actions to stop new waste from contributing to the problem is necessary to address the litter problem. The first goal is accomplished by mobilizing volunteer organizations and encouraging widespread litter-picking. The second is more challenging. Common tactics include expanding the number of trash cans, regularly emptying them, and raising public awareness.

  • Existence of Green Spaces: It is advantageous for the physical environment and the people who live there to have conveniently accessible green spaces. But due to the demands of the population, building and infrastructure development frequently take precedence over this. Reversing these objectives and reaching a compromise can ensure that environmental quality is maintained at a high level.

  • Distance From Necessities: It is self-evident that having vital amenities nearby is critical for a community's population. The lack of these resources nearby might exacerbate other environmental issues by forcing people to go further for basic requirements. There are two possible fixes for this:

    • Build facilities, services, and stores nearer to the needy population.

    • Boost transportation connections to locations with amenities.


Environmental quality is essential for the human population, and various factors influence it. Therefore, multiple measures should be taken to improve and maintain environmental quality. If not maintained, it may have a detrimental effect on the environment and humans.

Frequently Asked Questions


How Environmental Quality Can Be Maintained?

Environmental quality can be maintained in the following ways:
- Designing infrastructure that uses less water and energy resources.
- Using recyclable or biodegradable materials wherever possible.
- Using natural resources cautiously.
- Using native plants for agricultural purposes that require less water or irrigation and negligible fertilizers.
- In addition, noise pollution due to construction, vehicles, and other sources need to be controlled to avoid hearing damage.
- Minimizing traffic or congestion to improve air quality and reduce pollution levels.


What Are the Issues Related to Environmental Quality?

Issues related to environmental quality include:
- Depletion of natural resources.
- Climate change.
- Environmental degradation.
- Pollution.
- Loss of biodiversity.
- Deforestation.
- Acidification of oceans.
- Overfishing.


Why Is Environmental Quality Considered Important?

Environmental quality generally refers to good air quality, water purity, access to noise, and pollution-free space. These are polluted by human activities and, in turn, cause health effects to the population. Therefore, environmental quality is important because it has an impact on the population, biodiversity, human health, and the environment.


What Is the Management of Environmental Quality?

Environmental quality management mainly focuses on theories, social systems, and applications that help recover natural resources for sustainable management of the future. In addition, environmental quality management also helps to identify the factors degrading the environment and various strategies to deal with such issues. It helps to predict the future impact of degradation on the environment and the ways to reduce these effects.


What Is Meant By Environmental Quality Assessment?

Environmental quality assessment is a process of measuring air, water, soil, and noise pollutants. The necessary steps are then taken after analyzing the data to reduce pollution and improve environmental quality. The various components of environmental quality assessment include biological environment, noise environment, water environment, land environment, health, and socio-economic environment. 


How Is a Healthy Environment Beneficial?

A healthy environment benefits the population and biodiversity in the following ways:
- It reduces morbidity and mortality.
- Provides a healthy lifestyle to an individual.
- Minimizes the health impacts of the environment on children and adults.
- It also improves the mental health condition of people.
- Last but not least, it provides us access to pollution-free air, water, and food, which has a positive impact on the population’s health.


What Are the Ways to Solve Environmental Problems?

Environmental issues can be resolved in the following ways:
- Avoiding the use of paper.
-Use reusable items or one that is biodegradable.
- Indulging in environment-friendly activities.
- Conservation of electricity and water.
- Conservation of natural resources by practicing waste recycling.
- Minimize the use of electronics.
- Avoid using plastic or polythene bags.


How Is Life Affected by the Environment?

Life can be grossly affected by environmental hazards related to extreme weather conditions, water and air pollution, and chemical exposures. These can further cause various health-related issues and chronic health conditions, such as cancer or other acute conditions like heat exhaustion. Therefore, any change in the environment can have a direct impact on lives as it affects the essential health ingredients needed for good health.


What Are the Types of Environments?

Various types of environments based on the components are as follows;
- Terrestrial environment, or land.
- Aquatic environment, or marine (seas, oceans, freshwater lakes, and rivers).
- Atmospheric environment, or air.


What Are the Different Types of Pollution?

Types of pollution include:
- Air Pollution - Indoor and outdoor environmental pollution due to physical, biological, and chemical agents.
- Water Pollution - Contamination of water and water resources by various substances, making it unfit for drinking or use.
- Radioactive Pollution - The undesirable or unintended presence of radioactive substances on land surfaces, gasses, or solids, and the human body.
- Soil Pollution - The presence of toxic chemicals, such as contaminants or pollutants in the soil, in higher concentrations that impact the ecosystem and human health.
- Noise Pollution - Noise that is painful and unbearable to a person is usually considered pollution. All sounds are not harmful, but only those that have a negative impact on the human population and animals.


How Can Climate Change Be Avoided?

Climate change can be avoided by saving energy at home, switching to electric vehicles, bikes, walking, and use of public transport. It can also be avoided by opting to reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle initiatives to save resources and their degradation. In addition, the use of renewable energy at home and investment in energy-saving appliances can help save the environment and avoid climate change.


What Is Global Warming?

It is the prolonged heating of the earth’s surface due to human activities. Global warming mainly occurs due to the burning of fossil fuels. This causes the heat-trapping gasses (carbon dioxide, methane) of the greenhouse to increase beyond the normal range in the Earth’s atmosphere. This causes a gradual increase in the temperature of the earth, and therefore, the impacts of global warming can be felt everywhere on the planet.


How Does Nature Affect Humans?

Nature can affect humans in many ways, as it can generate positive emotions in humans. One can feel calmness, happiness, and joy when exposed to nature. It also contributes to the physical and mental well-being of humans by reducing blood pressure, mental stress, and heart rate. Therefore, nature can help in lowering anxiety and depression and improve the overall health of humans.
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Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop
Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop



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