For optimum well-being, human beings should live in healthy and supportive environments. The environment not only determines our health and well-being; it is the provider of all sustenance to human life. It is therefore crucial that we interpret health issues not only on individual and community basis but also in the broader environmental context. Many debilitating health conditions can be traced back to defects in the global ecosystem, climate change, and pollution.
As a field of employment, environmental health is essential because it provides the community with trained professionals who can identify and analyze hazardous agents in the environment. These professionals can also offer guidance on how to limit exposure to chemical and biological agents that may be detrimental to our health. Some possible careers in environmental health include;
- An environmental health and safety specialist whose primary responsibilities are to identify issues in the environment, enforce environmental health regulations, improve the quality of existing rules, conduct accident investigations, check environmental policies for weaknesses and loopholes and analyze hazards in the environment.
- An environmental officer who is responsible for maintaining safety and health within the community, investigating sources of environmental pollution, providing the community with education on critical topics in environmental health, and ensuring organizations meet the requisite local, state and federal environmental regulations. Environmental health officers are often involved in performing site auditing activities and reporting compliance levels to higher authorities.
- An environmental toxicologist who observes the movement of organisms and the effects of the toxic substances they produce on the health of various species. The work of an environmental toxicologist mainly involves conducting laboratory experiments, fieldwork, and hypothesizing the effects of toxic metabolites on computer simulation models.