Causes of Death Worldwide

The Environment and its Impact on Health

The environment is the sphere around which life revolves. The environmental state in which one lives influences one's health, which is the quality of life that every individual seeks. As scientific advancements were invented, it was widely assumed that the illnesses that had long claimed lives would be eradicated (Lelieveld et al., 2015). Regrettably, this goal has not come true, and morbidity and mortality are on the rise. Pollution, physical agents, and anthropogenic changes have all contributed to the global mortality toll, and the figures are growing by the day. Community health nurses have a primary role to play regarding educating, mentoring, and caring for the members of the society to help them survive atrocities posed to them in their environment (Patz et al., 2014). However, working on their own it may prove difficult to achieve the required health standards thus it is imperative for other concerned parties to join the community health nurses in the endeavor to advocate for a healthy society.

Pollution as an Environmental Cause of Death

Pollution refers to the contamination of the environment and constitutes air, water, and soil pollution. Factories and vehicles release exhaust fumes into the atmosphere, mining firms thrust dust into the air, and smokers relentlessly blow nicotine residue into the free air. Inhalation of the carbon particles, toxic gasses, and infectious agents has been linked to most upper and lower respiratory tract infections among them pneumonia, influenza and tuberculosis which rank among the highest causes of mortality in the world. Water pollution by litter, chemicals, and sewage has significantly reduced access to safe and clean water. Coupled with overcrowding and poor sanitation, diseases such as cholera, typhoid, shigellosis, and other parasitic infections for example ascariasis are the leading causes of death among people living in congested areas. Soil pollution constitutes improper waste disposal and large amounts of industrial and farms chemical depositions in the ground. The implication of this act is that the people living around such areas are exposed to tetanus and poisoning from the farm products that are intoxicated with high titers of chemicals (Lelieveld et al., 2015).

Physical Agents

With the establishment of nuclear plants and use of electromagnetic waves in the imaging and diagnosis of diseases, the exposure to harmful ionizing radiation has increased. The amount of radiation absorbed by the body which is measured in grays translates to mutations in the DNA and subsequently episodes of carcinogenesis. Mutations and oncological illnesses are dreaded by the society for being the irreversible causes of mortality. Augmented by lifestyle, radiation modulates the events of cancers which could be metastatic or benign. Additionally, airplanes and vehicles plying the roads as well as factories that manufacture products used daily have added to the noise in the environment exceeding the recommended decibels. As a result, incidences of hearing loss and mental disorders have constantly been on the rise to the extent of lowering the threshold ages for Parkinsonism and Alzheimer's diseases which were formerly a reserve of the elderly and the cause of their demise (Chesney et al., 2014).

Anthropogenic Changes

Climatic change has been a global concern especially when viewed in light to the economic implications. However, the effect on the health of the society as well as the mortality figures is grave. Change in climate such as the depletion of the ozone layer has increased the terrestrial heat in some areas thus shifting the thriving zones of vectors that transmit diseases as well as enhancing survival of parasites in areas they were formerly non-existent. With the ambient temperatures within the temperate zones increasing, some of the tropical diseases such as malaria have invaded these areas. Moreover, climatic change has been linked to the recurrent episodes of emerging and emergent diseases such Ebola and Zika viruses which are among fatal illnesses (Patz et al., 2014).

Roles of Community Health Nurses

Community Health Nurses (CHNs) have a crucial role to play regarding mediating and fostering for the health of the society. The personnel is deemed to constitute the ambassadors of health to the community and act as a bridge between the rest of the healthcare providers and the patients. The CHNs act as health educators informing people of ways diseases can be contracted from the environment and how they can keep safe (Lelieveld et al., 2015). They also showcase leadership and mentorship to the society into adopting safety measures such as boiling and treating drinking water, proper sanitation, healthy cooking methods, and how to limit exposure to harmful radiation. They also advocate for regular screening of the population and how they ought to take care of the environment so that it ceases to be a hub of diseases.

The Way Forward

In a bid to curb the prevailing situation wrought by the environmental factors the nursing body has incepted emancipation programs to enlighten the members of the society on the roles they play in ensuring they staying healthy. Also, the nurses bargain on behalf of the organization for the regulation of environmental pollution and exposure to other hazards. In their endeavor, to mitigate environment-based mortalities other health practitioners such as doctors and pharmacists as well as organizations such as WHO and UNEP need to come together to make the efforts productive (Patz et al., 2014).


Chesney, E., Goodwin, G.M., & Fazel, S. (2014). Risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta-review. World Psychiatry 13(2), 153-160.

Lelieveld, J., Evans, J.S., Fnais, M., Giannadaki, D., & Pozzer, A. (2015). The contribution of outdoor pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale. Nature, 525 (7569), 367-371.

Patz, J.A., Frumkin, H., Holloway, T., Vimont, D.J., & Haines, A. (2014). Climate change: challenges and opportunities for global health. Jama, 312(15), 1565-1580.

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