Human health and the health of the planet. It seems obvious that these two things would go hand in hand, yet somehow we've watched a different tale unfold over the past century. On the one hand, we've made massive medical advances, dramatically increasing human health. Life expectancies have sky rocketed, and self-health movements have created a more aware populace with an increasing culture of preventative medicine. Unfortunately, on the other hand, we've watched the health of the planet decline, and our preventative medicine is aimed too often at the diseases we've created and exacerbated with air pollutants.
Urbanization has sadly acted as a catalyst for increased greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, and let's be real, urbanization isn't going away, but it doesn't have to be destructive to human health. China and the European Union recently announced a massive study on how strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will effect human health. It's about creating intelligent, pragmatic plans for sustainably shaping society. A simple idea, with some incredibly complex lines running through it.
An excerpt from the study announcement:
Professor Clive Sabel, from the University of Exeter’s Geography department and European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) and leader of the project, said: “If we don’t start reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cities, the planet will get hotter and hotter, but every policy to tackle those emissions has a potentially profound effect on human health.
“That could be positive or negative, so in order to make that assessment we have to look at all the evidence and relate that to the on-the-ground technical, social, economic, political and cultural realities. This research aims to integrate data from a large variety of sources to inform key policy decisions to ensure city life is a healthy, positive experience that is sustainable for the future of our planet.”
There are clearly more human health issues than those caused by air quality, but often preventative measures for things like obesity and diabetes come down to individuals and everyone can choose their own lifestyles. But, we all breathe the same air. That's why Aprilaire has always prided itself on intelligent, whole home solutions to Indoor Air Quality that makes sense for human health and Earth's health, and if that's not enough, it makes fiscal sense too.
It's about time the health of the planet and the health of humans walked hand in hand again, but it takes a whole culture of awareness and desired improvement. Ultimately it feels right to help the environment and human health at the same time, and when we can make it happen it's incredibly empowering. Knowledge is power, stay informed and do your part.