Four Categories of Environmental Hazards


There are many hazards that we all have a chance of coming in contact with and having negative effects on a person’s well being. There are four major categories of this such environmental hazards; cultural, biological, physical and chemical. Although many cannot be avoided, forty percent are caused directly from human’s poor choices. (Wright and Boorse, 2011)


Cultural hazards are hazards that a person basically causes themselves by negative choices. Over eating to an extreme can cause obesity and many other related health affects like diabetes. Poor choices and no use of protection while having random sex can make a person contract an STD or even a deadly disease like AIDS. Smoking cigarettes leaves a person’s body vulnerable to hazards such as cancer, heart disease, heart attack and emphysema.


Biological hazards are parasitic and infectious diseases. Diseases that are carried by parasites like mosquitoes can carry diseases that they will transfer and infect a human with, most recognized would be malaria. Pathogenic bacteria, worms, fungus and protozoans are other examples of this type of environmental hazard.


Physical hazards of the environment are natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and typhoons. Some of these hazards cannot be changed or alleviated. Hazards like a tornado usually gives little to no warning and may leave people homeless, hurt or even dead. After hurricane Katrina one would think that it would be unavoidable, however people’s choices to not build proper infrastructure (levees) or just simply the choice of not leaving when a hurricane is coming, made me realize that some of the many deaths were contributed to the choice of the person. The people who did not prepare or leave the area felt the worst affects of the storm and in general, may have raised their risks considerably for their poor choice.


Chemical Hazards are caused by the many manufacturing of man made products by way of chemical change. Products like paper and plastic both produce toxic material that is harmful to humans when they come in contact with it. Paints that have a lead base were well known for causing permanent damage to many in a generation before the risks of such substances were known. Chemicals produced from nuclear power are a good example of a chemical hazard that can kill you, however there are many chemicals that can cause cancer and effect a person for their whole life, until eventually causing their death.


Not all hazards are avoidable however a person’s health mainly is in their hands and with proper choices, the risk for such hazards can go down dramatically.


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