How Environmental Testing is Necessary for Healthy Living
Human health is intimately intertwined with the environment in which we live. We may not see or think about all of the ways our environment affects our overall health because we often think that health is primarily based on our personal choices to eat right, exercise, choose good habits over bad, etc. However, the truth is that where we live and how we interact with our environment determines a lot about our overall health. Let’s look at some of the effects of environmental hazards on human health.
1. A Brief Overview of Environmental Health
There is actually a public health field dedicated to Environmental Health. Their focus is to monitor what chemical, biological and physical factors may be adversely affecting human health in some communities and then find solutions to these problems. These factors include testing air pollution, water sanitation, access to foods, exposure to chemical hazards, access to safe streets and parks and much more. Increasingly there are also new challenges from the effects of climate change such as wildfires, insect spread, more frequent and violent storms, etc. Environmental health really deals with any of the myriad of ways that our physical and mental health are impacted by our external environment.
2. The Effects of Environmental Hazards on Human Health
So what are some of the specific hazards when it comes to our environment and human health? There are a number of specific areas of worldwide concern for the health of certain human populations. Some of the main ones are listed below with their potential hazardous effects.
- Water – Availability of water can be as big a concern for many as its quality. Unsafe drinking water is the cause of an estimated 2,200 worldwide deaths a day of children contracting diseases that cause diarrhea. In the U.S. our main concerns with water quality are to prevent the spread of disease, to minimize the risks of contamination from heavy metals, pesticides and other toxins and to provide clean drinking water to all communities and populations.
- Air Quality – People who live near highways, industrial factories, agricultural fields that get sprayed with pesticides, or in areas of seasonal fires all are subjected to poor air quality. The short term and long term effects of such exposure are hazardous to health with higher incidences of asthma, allergies, lung cancers and other serious conditions. In one study, it was shown that babies born to women who were subject to poor air quality during pregnancy had lower birth weights.
- Sanitation – Clean toilets, toilets that are not near a drinking water source and public sanitation facilities and infrastructure are a major need for human health in developing countries. Here we have these facilities and access to cleaning supplies but we need greater education on sanitation for portions of our population.
- Toxins – Industrial processes have created toxic compounds that affect the environment and human health for two centuries. Insecticides, herbicides, heavy metals, PFAs, asbestos and many other toxic chemical compounds are hazardous to human health and although many are regulated or even banned from being produced in the U.S. they still find their way into our imported products. These dangerous toxins have a variety of effects but have been shown to cause kidney and liver damage, cancer, reproductive issues, lung problems, low birth rates and developmental issues.
- Hazardous Waste – Some of the banned toxic substances mentioned above were dumped in landfills and other locations and created hazardous waste sites that must be remediated. Although it is possible to keep people away from these sites, it is not as easy to prevent these toxins from leaching through the soil into underground water supplies and poisoning wells and aquifers thus threatening the environment and human health.
- Housing – Most of us spend a lot of time in our homes and assume they are healthy environments for our families. However, older homes may contain asbestos or lead pipes which are both very dangerous to human health.
- Communities – In some revealing new studies it has been shown that many poor inner city communities do not have easy access to a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables because there are no grocery stores nearby. Instead they rely on convenience stores that sell highly processed foods at high prices for their dietary needs. In response there is a movement to create public gardens in these communities. But it is important for these community gardens to have their soil tested for the toxins mentioned above in order to ensure that the food grown is indeed healthy.
3. How Environmental Testing Benefits Healthy Living
When it comes to reversing the negative effects of environmental hazards on human health the first step is to identify which hazards are present in a given situation. If any of the above listed effects are present they must be identified and located and a remediation plan put in place to provide clean drinking water, soil, safe housing, improved air quality, etc. This is where an Environmental testing laboratory in conjunction with community, municipal or state regulators can work together to locate and identify any and all potential hazards to environmental and human health through highly sophisticated and accurate testing.
It is very helpful to know ahead of time what kinds of toxins, hazardous waste or other pollutants may be present in the air, soil or water being tested. Fortunately, because of decades of experience in dealing with the effects of environmental hazards on human health, quality labs and municipalities have ways to discover much of that information.
Once testing is completed, if toxins are found and identified then a plan for remediation can be put into place that will likely include a number of important steps and will benefit the healthy living of everyone in and around the tested area.
4. Why Choose Torrent Laboratory for Environmental Testing?
Torrent Laboratory is the premier environmental testing laboratory for California and Hawaii.
Our full-service lab is your one-stop, state of the art, expertly staffed laboratory offering all of the vital environmental tests you need. Not only can we meet all regulatory testing needs but we also go beyond the “cookbook chemistry” of typical labs. What this means for you is that we can tailor our research to your exact needs, from monitoring and investigation to remediation and redevelopment.
We do it all so you can do all the work you need to do. In fact, with so many services under one roof, working with Torrent is like having your own lab ready to meet all of your environmental testing needs.
Torrent offers a wide array of key advantages including:
- The fastest possible TAT in the industry
- Unmatched technical and customer support
- Unrivaled on-time performance
- Impeccable quality
- Competitive pricing
- Convenient geographic location
Torrent Laboratory also has the following certifications:
- Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP)
- Department of Defense (DoD ELAP) QSM 5.3 Compliant
- Department of Energy (DOE ELAP)
Business and Administrative Certificates:
- California Public Utilities Commission (PUC)—MBE
- Regional Transportation—Caltrans, BART, VTA, etc. (CUCP)
- State of California—SBE