Environmental factors such as biological/chemical contamination, quality and availability of man-made structures, transportation emissions, and the physical characteristics of neighborhoods can all affect health. Research suggests that the character of our physical environment can impact not only the quality of the air we breathe or water we drink, but also, our opportunities for physical activity and interaction with our neighbors.
Air and water pollution are the two most common environmental factors that can impair health and lead to increased respiratory disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and other illnesses such as asthma, chronic lower respiratory disease, and cancer. Environmental quality can also impact the likelihood of other conditions and diseases.
The housing options and transit systems that shape our communities' built environment affect where we live and how we get from place to place. The choices we make about housing and transportation, and the opportunities underlying these choices, also affect our health.