Environmental Health

At Atticus Health we are focused on providing all of our patients with a full and comprehensive health care, which includes environmental health.

What is Environmental Health?

Environmental health involves those aspects of public health influenced by the factors, circumstances, and conditions in the environment or surroundings of humans that can exert an influence on health and well-being. Environmental health provides the basis of public health

Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. This definition excludes behaviour not related to environment, as well as behaviour related to the social and cultural environment, and genetics.

Smog/Pollution Levels in air

A classic example of how the environment impacts our health is smog/ pollution levels in the air.  Luckily for the most part, Australia remains a pretty clean place.  But, if we don’t care – it will change.  We don’t need to be fearful, however it is important that we all do our part, and put in place strategies that are in our control to assist in improving our environmental health.These changes need to be put into effect now rather than in 50 years.  In some countries, you can get extremely sick if you don’t use a mask over your nose & mouth outside.  Not to mention, that you can’t even see very far at all because of the smog.  So, you don’t have to be a tree hugger to see that the problem is REAL.

The website linked below can assist you in tracking the level of air pollution around the world.

https://waqi.info/

Tree Planting

A beautiful and simple way of improving air quality, is planting trees.

For millions of years trees have been critical in maintaining safe levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide on our planet. Trees are the world’s single largest source of breathable oxygen and play a vital role in addressing climate change. They filter air and provide oxygen, conserve soil and water, prevent desertification and protect and stabilise ground cover.

Native trees also assist our agricultural areas to be more sustainable, prevent salinity and soil erosion, provide shade, shelter, food and habitat to native animals. They provide sources of timber for fuel, wood, food, fodder, essential oils, gums, resins and latex, medicines and shade. In other words, the importance of trees can’t be understated.

At our Hastings clinic we were very aware of the need to support environmental health factors from conception. We planted native trees throughout the flowerbeds that surround the clinic. Some of Floyd’s favourite trees planted there are Eucalyptus gungurru, Eucalyptus woodwardii, Eucalyptus sideroxylon (ironbark), Eucalyptus ficifolia (flowering gum), Brachychiton (Illawarra flame tree), Banksia Integrifolia (coastal banksia)

 

As well as this Atticus Health actively avoids the use of paper, where possible in our clinics and gravitate towards a paperless system.

How can you improve your environmental health?

Everyone’s lifestyle is different and complex, so you need to establish what steps work for you. Based on your needs, consumption, free-time and capabilities. The same solution isn’t always going to be applicable for everyone, however. Below are some common suggestions that people feel are relatively easy swaps and changes to make. Figure out which ones suit you and go from there, baby steps. To help improve environmental health, “we don’t need a handful of people doing it perfectly, we need the whole world doing it imperfectly”.

You can assist in improving your own environmental health by selecting products with minimal waste, picking up waste you see when out in nature and recycling/disposing of it appropriately, bulk buying, getting involved with environmental charities by donating or volunteering, choosing locally produced produce, even purchasing products from companies that care about the what the materials are in your products, where they come from and how to dispose of them – https://www.biome.com.au/ is a website from which you can make more environmentally everyday purchases to assist in improving overall environmental health. Here are a few more things you can read about improving your environmental health.

You can purchase a bracelet from 4Ocean, a charity that pulls a pound of plastic from the ocean for every purchase, read more about it here.

You can also plant trees in your own home, or if you don’t have a garden there are several charities you can donate money to, to plant trees to improve Australia’s air quality. Here is a link to a charity you can donate money to plant trees to help improve environmental health.