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Types of occupational health and environmental health hazards

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Occupational and environmental health is the multidisciplinary approach to the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention and control of disease, injuries, and other adverse health conditions resulting from hazardous environment exposures in the workplace, the home, or the community. It is an integral part of many disciplines as well as a part of public health to assure that the conditions in which we live and work are healthy and in good condition. A relationship between Occupational Health and Environmental Health has been well-recognized. In addition, occupational health hazards can affect communities, and environmental health problems often originate in workplaces. With these issues, work-related risks, environmental degradation, poverty, and social injustice are often are also interrelated. In general, occupational and environment health and safety hazards can be categorized in the following manner: First, safety hazards. It is any thing that can have an adverse impact on your safety that result in injury through the uncontrolled transfer of energy to a vulnerable recipient from sources like electrical, thermal, kinetic, chemical, or radiation energy. Safety hazards can result in due to various reasons such as unsafe playground equipment, loaded firearms in the home, auto or bicycle accident, vulnerable electrical sources, working at heights without fall safety, working near unguarded moving equipments etc. Different health hazards that result in environmental or occupational illness also includes: 1. Chemical hazards: These include heavy metals, like lead and mercury; pesticides; organic solvents and many other chemicals. 2. Physical hazards: Noise above irritating level, vibration, extremes of temperature and pressure, and ionizing and non-ionizing radiation 3. Biomechanical hazards: These comprise heavy lifting and repetitive, discomfited, or vigorous movements that result in musculoskeletal disorders, like carpal tunnel syndrome and many cases of low back pain syndrome 4. Biological hazards: HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses, the tuberclebacillus (TB), and many other bacteria, viruses come under this category. Also, other microorganisms that may be transmitted through air, water, food, or direct contact 5. Psychosocial stress: This mostly occurs at workplace. The responsible factors include stressful work environments, excessive work and unrealistic demands from workers and other conflicts at workplace. Stress and hostility also result from urban congestion, such as road rage. Unemployment is a major stressor. To prevent these hazards, information alone will not avert occupational and environmental diseases and injuries. It also depends, in part, on formulating the accepted and political will to sustain it and to execute specific preventive measures.

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