Among the different types of environmental hazards are natural and human-made. These threats can cause health problems in the short or long term. They can also affect the wellbeing of employees and customers.
Biological hazards are usually associated with the groundwork or demolition of buildings. This is because they can expose workers to a variety of diseases that can be contracted through the site’s activities. Some examples of these dangers include mold and viruses.
Chemical hazards are a form of environmental threat that is caused by a chemical substance that causes significant damage to the environment. These hazardous substances are combustible, poisonous, and can destroy human lives. They can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. They can also contribute to chronic medical conditions such as cancer.
Generally, the routes of exposure are dermal absorption of ultraviolet-B radiation from the sun, inhalation of dust, and direct skin contact with caustic household cleaners. In addition to these, people may be exposed to contaminated drinking water.
In the United States, more than 25 percent of community water systems do not meet EPA safety standards for chemical contaminants. The EPA also regulates the emission of pollutants from facilities. In addition to identifying potential workplace hazards, employers must train their employees on proper procedures for handling and eliminating these threats.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, there are still many challenges to protecting public health.
For example, in the past decade, the nation’s air quality has improved. However, more than 50 percent of the population lives in areas where outdoor air did not meet EPA standards. This is a serious concern. The EPA has developed standards for lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulates.