Today is Day 3 of National Public Health Week. Today’s theme is environmental health. Air pollution contributes to thousands of premature births and costs billions of dollars. Asthma, lead poisoning, and mercury levels are the environmental health issues we often think of as affecting quality of life. However, the largest environmental issue, climate change, affects our health just as much. Climate change is expected to increase heat-related deaths, exacerbate chronic respiratory and heart conditions, increase the severity and frequency of natural disasters, thereby endangering water safety and food security.
How does our service area rank?
According to the latest county health rankings, Dixie County ranks 4th in the state for overall physical environment, and Putnam County ranks the lowest at 52nd in the state out of 67 counties. Environmental factors such as air pollution, drinking water violations, housing problems, and commute all factor into each county’s overall physical environment ranking.
|County||Air pollution (particulate matter in micrograms per cubic meter)||Drinking water violations?||Severe housing problems||Statewide Ranking for Physical Environment (Out of 67 counties)|
Clearly, there is room for improvement in our service area. So how can you help? Often, the burden of addressing environmental issues is placed on the individual: choices we make about transportation, waste and recycling, and efficiency. Individual actions won’t have nearly as much of an effect on environmental health as policy change.
Your voice matters! #SpeakForHealth this National Public Health Week through advocacy, local elections, and where you spend your money!