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An article posted by Anne Godfrey, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health on 02 September 2016 – Follow the link
Environmental health has been defined in a 1999 document by the World Health Organization (WHO) as:
- Those aspects of the human health and disease that are determined by factors in the environment. It also refers to the theory and practice of assessing and controlling factors in the environment that can potentially and affect health.
Hygiene of facilities and processes
Health risk factors have to be managed indoor and outdoor where people live, work and spend their free time. Among other qualifications sanitary engineer is also qualified for hygienic analysis and solving hygiene problems in different facilities and working processes. Especially in facilities that are important for maintaining health throughout the life cycle of man (Health facilities, kindergartens, schools, food industry, homes for the elderly, laundries, etc.). In this context, we pay the attention to the elements and methods of technical and hygienic management of buildings and processes in different environments and circumstances.
Risk assessment and risk management
Understanding the risks to human health is one of the most important challenges in the field of public health. That is why the risk assessment has been rapidly developing in the last 30 years. Risk assessment is a significant segment of identifying and studying risk to health and environment. It is extremely interdisciplinary work, involving different experts including chemists and biologists, doctors, statisticians, physicists, and sanitary engineers. Primarily, the approach of risk assessment, was developed for the evaluation of risks to human health due to exposure to chemicals. During the development, the use of the risk assessment was successfully extended to the segment of the environmental impact. In addition we can also assessed exposure to a physical or (micro) biological risk factors. If the risk assessment confirms that the risk exists, it is always followed by the next step, management, control and reduction of risk (Poljšak and Jereb, 2012).
At the large-scale natural disasters (floods, devastating earthquake, storms, epidemics of infectious diseases and other cases), the affected community is faced with the so-called emergency situations. Emergency situations arise when there are (usually suddenly) the disproportions between the needs of the group of people and ability to manage that needs at the affected area (Macarol-Hiti, 2000). Organization of work in this circumstances is the most essential component of the protection and rescue. It ensures simultaneous and efficient work of various departments. Of course, in order to, as far as possible, minimize the consequences of each accident, and especially to prevent or minimize human casualties (Poor, 2006). From the sanitary point of view it is necessary in an emergency, especially when it is required the relocation of people from vulnerable places, to implement technical and hygiene measures such as: