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ISSN: 2641-1709

Scholarly Journal of Otolaryngology

Research Article(ISSN: 2641-1709)

Health vs Environment with a Focus on Otolaryngology: A Sociological Appraisal Volume 7 - Issue 2

Mohammad Taghi Sheykhi*

  • Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Alzahra University, Iran

Received:September 01, 2021;   Published:September 13, 2021

Corresponding author: Mohammad Taghi Sheykhi, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Alzahra University, Iran

DOI: 10.32474/SJO.2021.07.000263

Abstract PDF


Sociologically speaking, environment, especially the built environment has highly affected the human health in particular in urban areas where population is more concentrated, merged with industries and the pollution diluted. The current urban life is exposed to many disorders and health issues. Under such circumstances, the developed countries have access to better means of treatment especially otolaryngological facilities, whereas the developing countries are generally in short of the necessary medical means. What the developing countries need to do is to invest more on their educational atmosphere, wide-spreading education in all corners of their countries regardless of race, gender, creed and color. That would be a good column for the next healthy generations. Environmental health includes neighborhood spaces, schools, and the places where we live. Based on environmental sociological perspectives, qualitative differences between different environments should be reduced to a minimum. However, population density and extensive and continuous migration have caused different geographical environments to have different environmental health. Environmental diseases largely reflect racial and class status such as habitat and climate which are interrelated, and also affect human health.

Keywords: Environmental effects; air pollution; urban environment; environmental justice; healthy generations


Health and safety are under the influence of environment with special reference to urban areas. Currently the world population is at a maximum level, especially in the developing world. Such a population is widely facing dangers and threats at workplace, at home and in different seasons. In that, all age groups, are in danger as far as their health is concerned. Environmental causes of disease and loss of health have mostly emerged since 1960s. Many industrialized countries, following their scientific research, have discovered the causes of many diseases. That is, what comes from the environment endangering the health of the inhabitants. It is worth mentioning that many developing countries cannot serve their patients with otolaryngological treatments. Not only the natural environment, but the built environment also affects the health of the citizens in different ways [1]. Environmental health is targeted towards preventing disease and creating healthsupportive environments [2]. Otolaryngology is among the more highly compensated surgical specialties in the United States with $ 461,000 average annual income [3]. Population in developing countries like Africa will increase by 74% between 2025 and 2050. That is an increase leading to increasing challenges and health problems [4].

Population growth greatly affects the environment in various ways, and that in itself affects the health of the population and society. At the beginning of the twentieth century, with the advent of modern medical science, health officials sought to find the causes of many diseases and prevent them, treatments, and achievements of this kind, less looking for the environmental conditions in which people lived. At that time, man was known as the nucleus and the main cause of diseases, and it was itself the result of the theory of crime; That is, a belief that referred to the spread of disease through the transmission of microorganisms. During the twentieth century, most scientists have simply studied the phenomenon of population, population health, greater population security, and so on. However, the consequences of population growth have received less attention as far as the environment is concerned. As a result, many nations today face challenges and problems related to the environment. Also, many researchers have concluded that by maintaining the health of the environment, the health of the population can be better ensured. Gradually, as power, politics, and science merged, the view of disease changed. By adopting appropriate policies, entering scientific fields, and gaining authority, disease control became largely possible. This process first began in industrial societies and gradually spread to less developed societies. This movement has led to a healthier population, a longer life expectancy, and an increase in most communities. Also, access to science and environmental awareness has been a priority for many countries; That is, demographic policies have been formulated in such a way as to achieve the health of the environment as much as possible.

Method of Research

Methodology used in the present article is of qualitative type. In that, various paradigms have been used to find out about the facts regarding pandemics during the history. Qualitative research usually studies people, events or areas in their natural settings. In finding facts for the research, the researcher engaged in careful data collection and thoughtful analysis of what was relevant. In the documentary research applied for the present research, printed and written materials were widely regarded. The research was performed as a qualitative library-type in which the researcher had to refer to the relevant and related sources. In the current research, various documents were thoroughly investigated, and the needful inferences were made. The data fed by the investigator in the present article is hopefully reliable. Though literature on pandemics is very limited, yet the author tried to investigate many different resources in order to elicit the necessary information to build up the text.

Environmental effects on health

Gradually, from the 1960s onwards, the environmental causes of disease and loss of health emerged. Many industrialized countries, following their scientific research, have discovered the causes of many diseases; That is, what comes from the environment, and consequently endangers the health of the environment, the World Health Organization has also had extensive oversight of this approach. According to a study by the World Health Organization and UNICEF [5], while in 1990 70% of Indians had access to (healthy) water resources, only 18% of them had access to health resources. In 2011 these figures / ratios were revised and improved; That means 92 percent had access to safe water and 35 percent had access to health services. This has greatly helped to increase life expectancy in that country. Similarly, since the 1960s, many developing societies have adopted measures and policies to better ensure their environmental health. This has led to demographics in many communities, health and longevity. In this way, the size and quality of the population has also improved; That is, while different segments of the population have a longer lifespan, their number has also increased.

The branch of health is generally concerned with the exposure of citizens to disease, which is itself caused by air, food and water. Therefore, as far as the health of the people of a society is concerned, the possibilities of access to healthy air, sufficient and healthy food and safe water; These three factors have played an important role in how citizens’ health. Otherwise, many people are exposed to various diseases and food deficiencies. Today, what has endangered many people in different societies is the challenges and problems caused by the environment. This means that population density in confined urban spaces has itself led to many diseases and unhealthy conditions. The social and physical structures that make up the environment largely create the context for health. The social and physical structure of geographical points, the observance of the necessary standards in them, the appropriateness of green space with the population living in geographical points, the appropriate population density in physical spaces and the like, each play a role in creating environmental health. Therefore, and due to the increasing population, especially in urban areas, adopting the required standards, can itself lead to environmental health. For example, achieving adequate population density per square kilometer in their urban spaces can lead to greater environmental health. In contrast, poor access to safe water and sanitation annually kills 535,000 children in India, which can be controlled under normal circumstances [6].

Environmental or environmental health includes neighborhood spaces, schools, and the places where we live. How the geographical space and neighborhoods in which citizens live are of different health and quality. Therefore, based on environmental sociological perspectives, qualitative differences between different environments should be reduced to a minimum. However, population density and extensive and continuous migration have caused different geographical environments to have different environmental health; For example, less densely populated areas, which are generally located in affluent areas of cities, have better environmental health than densely populated areas. Racial factors, age, gender, and the like, each in turn affect environmental health. Different quality environments can affect different age groups, genders and different minorities. For example, some densely populated urban areas that attract more immigrants themselves affect their different age groups as well as populations in terms of men and women or gender in different ways. However, in the conditions of admission of such populations to affluent areas with higher quality, the mentioned citizens in terms of age, sex and racial characteristics are affected in different ways (positively) by environmental facilities and environmental health. They take. For example, people living in the environment near terminals are more likely to have asthma or respiratory problems than others living in other environments. Therefore, harmful and polluting places should be as far away from urban and residential areas as possible, in order to ensure the health of citizens.

Therefore, environmental diseases largely reflect racial and class status, such as habitat and climate, which are interrelated, and also affect human health. Population is affected by diseases and health deficiencies due to its environment, its racial and cultural status, its economic status and where it lives. Therefore, in order to ensure public health as much as possible, planning officials in different communities should provide facilities and services to different segments of the population according to racial, class, climatic conditions and the like, thus Many inter-population diseases can be prevented. At the same time, communities rely on the proper functioning of their ecosystems. They provide clean air, safe water, medicine and food security. At the same time, with unprecedented biodiversity loss taking place, it has itself affected human health around the world [7]. The issue of environmental health addresses more population factors than the biomedical pathway. Many environmentalists place more emphasis on how the population itself is; It means providing services that can ultimately improve the health of the population as much as possible. In some cases, policies and political and environmental conditions somehow ignore polluting factors; Just so that the production of some products does not stop. For example, in some countries, which mainly produce poppy and its products in order to earn more money, this productive-economic movement causes great harm to the whole society and young age groups; It is a condition that cannot be easily controlled and treated.

An environmental perspective refers to the operation of industrial production as a source of change in health outcomes. Achieving more advanced products and services in a timely manner has a significant impact on creating and maintaining personal and environmental health. For example, access to medical facilities and medical services has led people in different communities to live longer on average. Also, access to mechanized services for the transportation of waste has made the health of the environment less endangered. However, paradoxically, some products and services, in addition to the benefits they bring, are also somewhat destructive to the environment. In addition to the environment, many industrial and chemical substances also endanger human health.

Health derived from the environment and the social world

In explaining the concept of health due to the environment, the individual is seen in relation to the social world in which he lives. Many social groups today live-in environments that are not compatible with their health. Such a phenomenon can be seen in all parts of the world, whether industrial or non-industrial. Unhealthy environment today seems to be not only a third world phenomenon, but also many industrialized and developed countries. This means that even industrialized countries, to the best of their ability, endanger the environment in various ways, and in general many citizens, especially the elderly or the elderly of such societies, fall victim to environmental conditions every year. This issue has been approved by the World Health Organization. However, densely populated countries with high growth in developing societies are facing this problem more today. Environmental health (environmental-centered health) is itself a branch of public health that relates to all areas of “natural and built environment” that may affect human health. Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors that affect behaviors [7]. Some of the sociological processes involved in environmental health assessments include gender inequality, racial and ethnic identity, social, economic, and environmental norms and structures. These, or processes, can each contribute to racial and ethnic identity, as well as how social norms and values, and ultimately to social justice, environmental justice, and environmental health, can be greatly enhanced. Also, this concept means that, for example, by investing in green space and the environment in different parts of a city, a healthier and more pleasant environment can be established. Therefore, the health of the environment itself depends on many of the mentioned indicators and norms; Otherwise, a kind of environmental injustice (environment) is created in society. This means a population-based approach to the disease. In the conditions that the mentioned fields are provided in a desired society; The environment should be reconstructed, sanitized and sustainable, the process itself will lead to the reduction of diseases, prevention of infectious diseases and greater productivity of citizens. Achieving these conditions and an approach based on population health, the environment should always be a priority in planning, protection and maintenance.

Concerns about the environmental causes of disease have increased, following the environmental movement and the environmental justice movement, mainly in industrialized countries, where minorities and the poor have been threatened. Although this situation initially affected the poor and the lower classes, following the movement or pro-environmental movement, many of the common diseases among the weaker classes of the mentioned communities also decreased, or in general from Removed. Many health social movements today have attracted the attention of experts, and it has been pointed out that the causes of many common diseases are environmental, and are caused by chemicals, environmental and the like, Such as a variety of cancers. Many human rights movements have emerged to address, and address, the unbridled expansion of industrial spaces, the indiscriminate destruction of the environment, the dispersal of elements and chemicals in urban environments, and so on. These movements are mainly advocates of social health and the environment. If such defenses are not carried out by experts, the destruction of the environment and the loss of social health will be accelerated; That is, a scenario that affects subsequent generations in some way. These movements originated more and more in industrial societies, and gradually spread to other developing societies.

Emergence of environmental diseases

In some cases, environmental diseases take years to appear. In other words, gradual exposure ultimately affects many individuals and citizens. Indoor employment, lack of light and other natural elements, and even, to the extent that it has been studied, activities and night jobs that generally occur in more developed societies, each in turn exposes the relevant people to disease and Places various disorders. In other words, the polluted environment is gradually affecting citizens with various diseases. Therefore, proper monitoring of the environment and issuance of appropriate and relevant instructions can prevent the occurrence of many diseases caused by the environment. In addition to these challenges and risks, especially in the urban environment, while in 2011 one billion people worldwide suffered from malnutrition and malnutrition, one billion people in the same year from overweight and obesity in Have suffered [8,9]. The uninterrupted increase in urbanization has also exposed many citizens to unhealthy air quality, unhealthy water, and the risk of waste disposal, which ultimately endangers their health in the urban environment [10]. Also, the increase in employment in the informal sector exposes a large proportion of such people to occupational injuries.

Environmental diseases can appear under the influence of a wide range of causes. Such environmental diseases are in many cases out of the control of people in the community, and in some cases a person may be exposed to several factors that make it difficult to diagnose the root cause. Many rich and poor people in a society are exposed to many disabilities and diseases under the influence of social factors, employment, environment and the like. Such a situation requires accurate diagnosis and understanding of the various causes affecting the diseases in question. Therefore, in the present era, following industrial development, urbanization, environmental degradation and the like, many people are exposed to these disorders. Similarly, proving that the environment affects health is itself often challenging, or in some way contradictory. Acquisition of skills and expertise, entry into large or larger cities, attainment of greater income or welfare, and the like, all put oneself at risk for health. Therefore, how the environment itself can greatly affect health. Employment in some industrial workshops and manufacturing plants and the uniformity of work, exposure to chemicals and noise pollution, etc., which goes back to the environment, each in its own way affects the health of individuals. Therefore, the relationship between the environment and health can be considered and examined in a paradoxical way. While many people are aware of the hidden threats in large environments, they are also seeking access to work, employment, and housing. Many large cities in developing countries are objective examples of the impact of the environment on health; Simply because smaller environments lack employment, income, and so on for all their residents.

However, the existence of conflicting policies and interests can themselves act as barriers to medical intervention. Although many medical and health theories suggest that high population densities in some industrialized areas with dynamic economies themselves have adverse health consequences, many policymakers and decision-makers Development and industry plans always hinder medical and health theories and interventions. In such circumstances, how the environment and urban spaces affect people’s health to a great extent, and in its negative form. However, if the theories of health and medicine and their interventions are evaluated, the health of more citizens, especially in urban areas, can be maintained and ensured as much as possible.

Environmental effects due to climate change

Another known effect of the environment on the health of climate change is that it threatens the health of individuals through the environment. Global warming in recent years has not only affected the environment, but also endangered the public health of many people in different societies. The direct effects of climate change on natural resources, including forests, are very evident; In such a way that every year a significant part of the forests is the prey of fire due to the high heat; Like what happens every year in countries like Australia. Under such circumstances, governments must always adopt appropriate measures and strategies to prevent such natural disasters. A World Health Organization estimate is that about 160,000 feet of the world occur annually due to overheating. Some also believe that overpopulation and the production of unprecedented toxic gases such as carbon dioxide and the like have contributed to global warming. While much of the statistical data on heat-related deaths are collected and reported by health organizations, such information is less reflected in poor countries, especially in rural areas. Therefore, the human toll from global warming is far greater than the annual figures reported by the World Health Organization. At the same time, many people affected by climate change and lack of access to the necessary facilities, have to endure a lot of resentment for such a long time in terms of such climate change and Concerns and threats from global warming include:

a) Diseases based on air pollution.

b) Diseases based on temperature.

c) Diseases caused by water and food.

d) Diseases caused by bad weather accidents and the like.

Therefore, climate change has direct and indirect effects on the health and quality of life of the population. This situation affects even future generations. Therefore, different countries and societies should adopt appropriate preventive and defensive policies in this regard. Heat waves, known as global warming through the environment, have fatally affected many people around the world; That is, what is needed is preventive and defensive technologies. Over the past few decades, following many environmental, chemical, industrial, and other interactions, the earth has generally experienced more heat; In a way where many countries have faced environmental problems, agriculture, deforestation, and even in some cases the death of some individuals and groups of the elderly, under such circumstance’s countries must directly and independently. Equip themselves with the necessary tools and equipment as much as possible, to be affected by more dangers and less potential threats. Poor countries face more dangers and problems in such situations than rich countries. The warming of the environment is such that even in industrialized countries, including the United States, more than 400,000 people die each year from heat alone. This type of exposure and deaths due to rising temperatures also occur in many other poor countries; In a way, the number of deaths due to unbearable heat in some cases even reaches thousands. Therefore, under such conditions, the balance of urban and rural population and access to the necessary technologies can prevent many of the anomalies caused by this phenomenon. For example, many people in countries in Africa, India in Asia, and the like fall victim to the weather every year; However, information and statistics of such incidents are less published and made available to the mass media. According to forecasts, by 2100, the sea level will rise between 50 cm and 1.5 m, which will cause serious damage to the environment and marginal points. The forecast is a warning to many countries, especially those with more beaches. This situation will endanger the habitat, human settlement and human life in various forms of the environment. According to these predictions, countries with regional partnerships should take the necessary and preventive measures gradually, in order to prevent possible losses as much as possible.

From a sociological point of view, heat waves affect different groups differently based on their race, gender, age, health status and socio-economic conditions. Following global warming and the doubly warming of urban areas, different strata and groups, minorities, women and men, and in general, those who have suffered from a weaker economic base, are more affected by the problems caused by global warming. Take. This situation is well reflected in countries such as India, Asia and South America every year. Therefore, different countries and societies should provide a kind of social, economic balance and fair use of facilities for their citizens, including different minorities, different age groups, and both sexes. In such circumstances, minorities and the poor are more vulnerable to environmental damage than others. They often lack the necessary facilities and other material facilities. Also, urban areas that have less green and natural spaces are more exposed to diseases caused by adverse weather conditions (heat). Urban areas today are densely populated with different populations and minorities; In a way, even some minorities live in the suburbs of the geographical spaces of cities. Therefore, following the continuous flow of migration from far and near to large cities, such cities have become more vulnerable in terms of natural space than smaller areas. Among minority groups, the elderly, especially women, are more vulnerable to heatstroke and environmental conditions. Because the proportion of the elderly population is increasing in most societies today, this minority population is exposed to deficiencies such as livelihood facilities, lack of care facilities and the like. Environmental conditions also generally add to their problems.

Urban environment

People in urban areas with a lack of access to parks and cooling spaces are usually more vulnerable than those in rural areas who are exposed to natural ventilation. Today, following the expansion of economic and industrial spaces within urban areas, more people have migrated to such areas; That is, more than the capacity and carrying capacity of such points (cities). As a result, many natural spaces and green spots in these areas are declining. This situation has led to many overt and covert environmental problems for citizens. This situation adds to the problem of health inequality. In other words, when the healthy environment is somehow taken away from the citizens, their health gradually decreases. This is the case today in many Third World countries where urban areas are more prosperous; That is, spaces that gradually endanger the health of citizens. Therefore, balancing the population with its healthy environment not only contributes to the health of citizens, but also ensures the health of future generations. Health inequality occurs when people are unequally affected by a particular disease or illness, due to poverty, lack of access to health care, environmental conditions and the like. In the conditions of urban development and their high density, service, health, nutrition, sports and similar facilities should be used as determinants (contributors), otherwise the citizens are more exposed to injuries and diseases. Are placed. Proponents of environmental justice have in recent years warned of the effects of environmental and climate change. This means that environmental experts, or advocates of healthy and equitable environmental rights, have in many cases predicted and mapped the future of societies; In a way, if environmental justice is not paid enough attention, societies will face irreparable challenges and irregularities in the coming years. According to some studies by environmental activists, from the end of World War II to the early 21st century, approximately 70,000 chemical products were introduced, and 1,500 new cases were added each year [11].

Man in the environment

The environment is generally reflected in our bodies. Healthy and lively environment, less dense environment, urban green spaces, spaces free from pollution and the like, each in its place has a significant impact on the body and soul of citizens. Therefore, keeping its urban areas healthy and balanced can create more health for citizens; That is, conditions that will have a positive effect on the next generation. Identifying and diagnosing environmental diseases, on the other hand, seems to be a contradictory issue.

While environmental pollutants themselves play a role in causing disease, policymakers are more concerned with economic benefits and revenue; That is, a situation that itself seems very contradictory. Therefore, environmental organizations, industry organizations, municipalities, health organizations and the like, should always be in a united and coordinated way, environmental health on their agenda. In other words, such organizations must operate in a cross-sectoral manner. In this way, environmental health can be maintained as much as possible. A basic political principle states that improving the health of the environment itself is a precautionary principle; So that the damage caused by chemicals in the environment and urban communities affects the quality of health of all classes, both rich and poor. Therefore, the necessary precautionary aspects should always be considered as far as the environment is concerned. In the study of environmental pathology, in American society, the poor, especially non-whites, are not only exposed to the worst air quality, but also to the highest noise pollution, the lowest quality housing, schools, and so on. They are exposed to environmental damage in multiple dimensions [12]. On the other hand, in discussing environmental justice, some scholars and environmental activists believe that environmental issues are the same as social issues and are often inseparable. Hence, environmental issues are not separate from economic conditions [13].


As far as the health of the people of a society is concerned, the three following factors of healthy air, sufficient and healthy food, and safe water play an important role in the healthy lives of those citizens. Therefore, increasing population especially in urban areas usually leads to environmental health. Poor access to safe water and sanitation annually kills over 535,000 children in India and many more in Africa. Population is affected by diseases and health deficiencies due to the existing environment, its racial and cultural status, its economic status etc. An environmental perspective refers to the operation of industrial production as a source of change in health outcomes. As a result, achieving more advanced products and services in a timely manner, has a significant impact on creating and maintaining personal and environmental health. Paradoxically, some products and services, in addition to the benefits they bring, are also somewhat destructive to the environment. In addition to the environment, many industrial and chemical substances also endanger human health.


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