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Environmental Quality - An Overview

Published on Mar 22, 2023 and last reviewed on Jun 08, 2023   -  6 min read

Abstract

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

Introduction

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:

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.

Conclusion

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.

Last reviewed at:
08 Jun 2023  -  6 min read

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