General Environmental Health Guidelines

General Environmental Health Guidelines
Posted by Lgists Media

Environmental sanitation

Environmental health and safety policy? This is an aspect of human health determined by environmental factors such as physical, chemical, biological logical, social, and psychosocial factors. 

It involves accessing, erecting, controlling, and preventing those environmental factors that can potentially affect adversely the health of present and future generation,

Type of environment

There are two types of environment natural and created environment.

The natural environment health and safety policy may cause problems for human health especially, temperature fluctuations, forest fire, erosions, tidal waves, and landslides.

The human-created environment health and safety policy such as slum areas in many cities also presents sore health hazards such as;

  •  Poor housing
  • lack of power supply
  • poor availability of water 
  • improper sewage disposal
  • poor environmental sanitation. 

The ultimate aim of environmental health is to protect people from hazardous environments and to promote a healthy environment.

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Environmental health can discourse under the following:

  1. Water supply
  2. Excreta disposal
  3. Waste management
  4. Vector control
  5. Shelter/Housing and planning
  6. Hygiene education
  7. Food safety and hygiene
  8. Protection from radiation
  9. Air quality/control of pollution


Water is a basic and essential human need, which means without water humans can not live a longer life, so take water daily if you want to see a longer life.

Types of water

  • Surface water such as stream, river, lake and pon's
  • Groundwater such as springs and wells, Rainwater

Each source should be adequately protected and the water stored properly to avoid contamination. 

Water must be treated before use. Some treatment modalities are flocculation and sedimentation filtration and also disinfection. 

Disinfection by chlorination is the last stage of treatment. It is aimed at killing pathogenic organisms in the water.

Uses of water:

  1. Domestic uses include
  2. drinking
  3. personal hygiene
  4. cleaning
  5. cooking utensils
  6. gardening
  7. Irrigation of crops
  8. Generation of electricity
  9. Transportation such as canals


Human excreta is an important source of pathogenic organisms, especially the causative agents of diarrhea diseases. It attracts flies which not only spread pathogenic organisms contained in the excreta but also breed in them.

Therefore the disposal of excreta is of major public health significance.

In the tropics, there are two basic choices of excreting disposal 

  1. Pit latrine
  2. Pour flush toilet

- The objective of any disposal method should be to dispose of potentially dangerous excreta

- To prevent the proliferation of vectors that might breed in such waste.

The principle of excreta disposal structures are;

They should be safe. For example, it should not be possible for small children to fall into a latrine pit.

They are designed to minimize the proliferation and harbourage of disease vectors such as flies and mosquitoes.

- To provide a degree of privacy to the users

They are located to avoid the potential of contaminating water sources.

In the civilized society and now in most cities in the tropics, excreta may be disposed of by sewerage.


tropics include:

Apart from excreta, the other type of waste common to Domestic waste such as food waste are : 
  • Waste from bathing and other domestic washing.
  • Medical waste such as needles, syringes, drip, and drip given vessel, swabs, and others.
  • Industrial waste 
  • Adequate storage of domestic waste is necessary as They accumulate continuously. 
  • Organic waste may be composted with storage while inorganic wastes like paper, tins, and glass may be recycled.
The collection of refuse for disposal should be handled by a special body empowered to do so. Collection workers need
protective clothing and education to reduce the risk of infection
to themselves. After collecting waste, a proper method of
disposal is very necessary. 

The disposal method is seen in the
topics are:

  • Landfill
  • Burning
  • composting
Medical waste otherwise known as healthcare waste is a waste resulting from activities within healthcare facilities such as
hospitals, clinics, medical laboratories, medical research centers, pharmaceutical industries, radiological centers, and funeral homes and mortuaries. 

Medical waste poses a great threat to health and safety. Some of these wastes are sharp
while pathological. 

A standard method of medical waste management include:

  1. Waste segregation
  2. Waste reuse
  3. Treatment and disposal
  4. Intermediate storage


  1. Open-pit burning
  2. Dropping in uncovered bins
  3. Burying without treatment
  4. Use of cart pushers to transport waste
  5. Use of unaccredited waste collectors
  6. Burning in furnace
  7. Use of cellophane bags for collection of waste
Lawma provides four bags to health institutions for the collection of medical waste. 

Their colors are yellow, brown, black, and red. 

The yellow bag is used to put infectiously wasted like swabs. 

Brown bag is for laboratory and pharmaceutical wastes. 

The black bag is used to collect general waste.

The red bag is used to collect anatomical waste like the placenta and umbilical cord.

There is a fifth bag color yellow but marked radioactive.

This bag is, used to collect radioactive waste.

All waste handlers are to be provided with;
  1. Face mask
  2. Headgear
  3. Hand gloves
  4. Rubber apron
  5. Boot.


Vector is simply a disease carrier. A typical example is the Anopheles mosquito which transmits malaria. 
It may be an insect especially an anthropoid or animal. 
They carry and transmit infections pathogens directly or indirectly from an infected animal to a human or from an infected human to another human.


  • Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Rats
  • Flees
  • Mite
  • Lice
  • Fever
  • Tick


  1. Associated disease
  2. Diarrhea disease
  3. Malaria and Yellow fever
  4. Leptospirosis and salmonellosis
  5. Typhus and Plague
  6. Scabies
  7. Epidermic typhus and Relapsing
  8. Relapsing fever


The key to vector control is to adopt the following principles:

know as much about the vector as possible
Prevent the vector from breeding Control/Eliminate the vector at the earliest point in its life cycle  Control/Eliminate the vector to prevent disease transmission
Personal protection


The shelter is a key component in environmental health. It is given the same attention as nutrition water supply and sanitation.
However one has to live in a house before talking about other things.

It has to be sited properly and constructed in a way to meet the need of those housed.

The following factors are taken into consideration when constructing a house

  1. Accessibility to the site
  2. Spacing and ventilation
  3. Security
  4. Availability of water
  5. Drainage
  6. Excreta and other forms of waste disposal.
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