Environmental disease

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Environmental disease

Environmental disease (/ɪnˌvaɪrənˈmɛntəl dɪˈziːz/) refers to illnesses and conditions that result from interactions between the human body and environmental factors. The term is often used to cover diseases caused by exposure to toxins in the environment, such as pollution, certain types of radiation, and harmful chemicals.


The term "environmental disease" is derived from the combination of the words "environment" and "disease". "Environment" comes from the French environ, meaning "around", and "disease" originates from the Old French desaise, meaning "lack of ease".

Types of Environmental Diseases

Environmental diseases can be categorized into four main types: Infectious diseases, Nutritional deficiency diseases, Lifestyle diseases, and Occupational diseases.

  • Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi. These diseases can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another or from an animal to a person. Examples include malaria, dengue fever, and zoonotic diseases.
  • Nutritional deficiency diseases occur when a person's diet does not provide the necessary nutrients for growth and maintenance. These diseases are often associated with poverty, poor diet, or food shortages. Examples include scurvy, rickets, and pellagra.
  • Lifestyle diseases are linked to the way people live their lives. This includes diseases associated with tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and lack of physical activity. Examples include lung cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and heart disease.
  • Occupational diseases are conditions that are primarily caused by exposure to risk factors arising from work activity. Examples include asbestosis, silicosis, and lead poisoning.

Prevention and Control

Prevention and control of environmental diseases involve a combination of public health interventions, including sanitation, vaccination, vector control, health education, and the regulation of occupational health and safety.

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