The most important need for human health is the life-supporting environment. Human habitat based on intact ecosystem that provides clean air, safe water, adequate food, tolerable temperature and a stable climatic pattern is a fundamental need (Global health and human health, 2000).
Increased number of travellers and migrators from one country to another increases the chances of individuals introducing or being introduced to a variety of viruses or deadly pathogen. Immunity from one country varies from the other country, thus, individuals become prone to this new virus.
Urban migration mainly by people from less developed to developed countries resulting from luring of jobs, acquiring of better living standards and more leads to the expansion of cities worldwide. Thus, the urban environment becomes more exposed to chemical hazards rather than mere diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory diseases. These chemical hazards include air pollution, traffic hazards and increased urban climate changes. More number of urban consumers leads to increased industries which further increase their production of goods, hence increasing carbon emissions from industrial machines. More people, more cars, thus increased carbon emissions and furthermore, more people, more accommodation, less space, hence more removal of ecosystem features mainly vegetation, thus decreased carbon sequestration. Overall, increased carbon in the atmosphere results in the reduction of the ozone layer, hence climate changes (heatwave and droughts) (McMichael, 2000).
Transportation of food between countries mainly by shipping requires proper precautions to avoid food spoilage and pests. Thus, the correct preservation of food would require pesticides and preservatives which are chemicals harmful to human health. Studies have found that incorrect use of preservatives by manufacturers may lead to work-related sensitivity and allergy in some cases. In 2007, a USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) associated commissioner of food, Dr David Acheson testified that they discovered that food exports from China had been contaminated with chemical melamine along with repeated discoveries of fish and seafood that contained residues of illegal drugs, food additives and chemical contaminants.
The Earth’s population is rapidly expanding, resulting in increased use of water, hence water depletion. It has been estimated that approximately 2.5% of the Earth’s water available for consumption is freshwater with the rest being salt water. Thus, this suggests that each country has limited amount of consumable water. Studies have discovered that the current top four uses of freshwater per country accounts for about 95% consumption, 85% used on irrigation of farmland, golf courses and parks,4% domestic purposes such as bathing and cooking and lastly 3% on industrialisation processes such as processing, washing and cooling.
Globalisation however has increased interconnectedness between countries, which suggests that there should be a water supply between countries, hence impairing the availability of water in country that supplies. For example, the Cahora Bussa dam in Mozambique and Katse dam in Lesotho that supply South Africa with water are at a crisis of depleting their dams mainly because of the water crisis that is being faced by South Africa putting pressures on these dams.
Increased migration (hence, increased consumption and furthermore increased production by industries) and transportation of goods lead increased discharge of chemicals that pollute water resources. Moreover, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide from carbon emissions in industries and transportations has led to climatic changes such as heatwave which further increase water evaporation from dams, lakes and ocean leading to drought and decreased water availability for vegetation and animals.
In the past years researchers have discovered that industrial waste that is generated as a result of production has been laden on ships and dumped in oceans. This led to the implementation of the Marine, Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) which has a policy that regulates dumping of all materials which would adversely affect human health, welfare or amenities or the marine environment.
Loss of biodiversity
Due to globalisation and increased industrialisation, various chemicals have been deposited into the soil, resulting in the growth of many noxious weeds and plants endangering indigenous vegetation. Moreover, as a result of increased global commercialization, humans have resorted to biologically activate nitrogen ‘nitrogen fixation’ through man-made nitrogenous fertilizers. It has been estimated that production of activated nitrogen by humans has exceeded that of the biosphere at large. This in turn alters or disrupts the world’s natural carbon cycle due ‘nitrogen loading’ on the atmosphere. Nitrogen loading in turn affects acidity and nutrient balance of the world’s soils and waterways, which further affect vegetation biochemistry and the species composition of ecosystem. Nitrogen-induced eutrophication of waterways further leads to algal blooms and oxygen depletion adversely affecting underwater organisms and causing fatality in extreme cases. Furthermore, deposition of industrial wastes in oceans can negatively affect underwater organisms as well as a result of harmful chemicals derived from the materials.