The quality of the environment determines the human well-being and health. Some of the detrimental health effects are linked to environmental degradation like water, noise and air pollution which have adverse health effects. Air pollution through exposure to contaminants in the air has led to increasing environmental-related respiratory illness, lung cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Besides that, human and industrialization activities have resulted in depletion of resources and climatic changes like rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have seen the rise in incidences such as dengue fever, heat stress, heart diseases due to aggravated heat among others. Water pollution on the hand has resulted in cases of water-borne diseases being reported. Changing consumers’ lifestyles and technology in production has also led to increasing uptake of chemicals and pollutants like lead, benzene, and sulphur oxide which are of concern to human health.
However, health benefits can still be realized from improved quality of the natural environment. For example, to reduce water-borne diseases due to pollution, regulation or policies on water use have to ensure access to and supply of high-quality water for human use by controlling human and industrial activities. Looking at the effects of the environment-related impacts on human health, environmental policy developers need to have a broader perspective on the environment, people's health, and well-being (Stone). The policies have to protect the citizens by addressing the water quality, air quality, noise and creating a non-toxic environment by managing the activities which might expose the public health to risk. For this reason, decision-makers have to work with the health bodies for the successful development and implementation of any policy that regulates use of resources to reduce or eliminate adverse effects.
Stone, D. "Sustainable development: convergence of public health and natural environment agendas, nationally & locally". Public Health 120.12 (2006): 1110-1113.