The CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health defines environmental health as, “the discipline that focuses on the interrelationships between people and their environment, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters a safe and healthful environment” (Frumkin,2016). There is no question that the environment impacts the health of individuals and communities. For example, it is easy for us to grasp that chemical spills in our water supply has an impact on the safety of the water we drink; the understanding of all of the environmental factors – physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person – is a special field within the world of public health.

Environmental factors or hazards such as water and air pollution, extreme weather, or chemical exposures can impact human health in a number of ways, from contributing to chronic diseases like asthma, developmental disabilities, cancer, and acute illnesses like heat exhaustion, food shortages, carbon monoxide poisoning, and childhood lead poisoning.