By Henry Griffiths
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Extra resources for A handbook of veterinary parasitology : domestic animals of North America
Given the choice, people prefer to live in a secure, predictable, attractive and diverse setting and may suffer ill health when such conditions deteriorate. Figure 18b sets out some of these consequences of human activity on the natural environment. This chapter provides an overview of the interaction between the environment and human health. While thoughtful management and planning can minimise some of the more damaging impacts, events such as tsunamis or earthquakes are outside human control.
This pattern with CHD can also be seen in other parts of the world. Infectious and parasitic diseases as causes of death in developing countries are declining while CHD as a cause of death is increasing. The WHO predicted in 1996 that CHD will be the leading cause of death and disability worldwide by 2020. Countries and regions around the world tend to go through these epidemiological transition stages at differing times and speeds. For example, rates of CHD have increased rapidly in India recently.
This episode led to the establishment of standards for air quality in the UK, through the Clean Air Act, and UK levels of air pollution have diminished substantially as a result. Increasingly, road traffic contributes to air pollution in developed countries, as contributions from industrial and other sources diminish. In many developing countries, the use of solid fuel on open cooking fires leads to substantial indoor air pollution and is a major cause of respiratory disease (Figure 18a). Water quality Water polluted by human and animal waste or toxic chemicals can pose a major threat to human health, and ensuring a safe drinking-water supply is a major public health objective.