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Environmental accident

Environmental hazard; types, causes and control

Environmental hazard is a substance, a state or an event which has the potential to threaten the surrounding natural environment/or adversely affect people's health, including pollution and natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes.

Any single or combination of toxic chemical, biological, or physical agents in the environment, resulting from human activities or natural processes, that may impact the health of exposed subjects, including pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides, biological contaminants, toxic waste, industrial and home chemicals.


1. Chemical hazards:

These are present when a person is exposed to a harmful chemical at home or at work. The chemicals can be in the form of gases, solids or liquids.

Exposure to chemicals could cause acute health effects (an immediate or rapid onset) if taken in large quantities in a single dose; and chronic health effects (long-term effects on health) if taken in small doses over an extended time.

2. Physical hazard:

This is a type of occupational hazard that involves environmental hazards that can cause harm with or without contact. There are many types of physical hazards.

Some of them are as follows: cosmic rays, drought, earthquake, electromagnetic fields, e-waste, floods, lightning, noise pollution, quicksand, ultraviolet light and vibration.

3. Biological hazards:

These are organisms, or by-products from an organism, that are harmful or potentially harmful to human beings. They include pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites, and also toxins (poisons) that are produced by organisms.

Biological hazards are the cause of the majority of human diseases. For example, bacteria cause cholera, tuberculosis, leprosy, relapsing fever and many diarrhoeal diseases; viruses are responsible for hepatitis B and C, HIV, measles and polio; and there are many diseases caused by parasites.

4. Social hazards:

Poverty and illiteracy are examples of social hazards. We know that poor and uneducated people get sick more frequently, compared to wealthier and more educated people.

Alcoholism, obesity, smoking and drug abuse are also social hazards that affect our health. A person with such habits is, over time, degraded, not respected by society, physically and mentally dissatisfied, and ultimately is likely to suffer with chronic illnesses such as lung and cardio-vascular diseases.


i. Deforestation

ii. Population explosion

iii. High quantity of exhaust gases

iv. High number of industries such as mining

v. Chemical influents

vi. Secondary pollution

vii. Unprecedented construction

viii. Ruinous agricultural policies among others.


i. Gutters should be constructed on major roads so as to reduce erosion or flood.

ii. Trees should be planted to replace fallen ones so as to reduce deforestation, erosion, etc.

iii. Industrial activities in urban areas should be regulated.

iv. There should be proper disposal of household or industrial water.

v. There should be industrial noise control.

vi. Forest reserves should be created in the areas of wide expanse of land.


1. Our natural environment makes human life possible and our cultural environment helps define who we are. It is therefore important or essential that our population and economic growth are environmentally sustainable.

2. There is need to address current and emerging environmental issues, that is, if we must promote the knowledge. E.P.A should undertake both problem-driven research and core-research.

Problem-solving research is targeted at understanding and solving identified environmental problems while core research is aimed at providing broader, more generic information that will help improve the understanding of many problems now and in then in the future.

3. Long-term collection and dissimilation of accurate environmental data.

Research activities within problem-driven and core research programmes may often overlap. Fundamental discoveries can be made during the search for solution to a narrowly defined problem.

Likewise, as mentioned earlier, breakthroughs in problem solving often occur as a result of core research efforts. Both kinds of investigations are needed and feedback between them will greatly enhance the overall environmental research endeavor.

Content created and supplied by: DanielZagpish (via Opera News )



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