Urban areas doubled, tripled, and
even quadrupled in size in some cities, which led to cities becoming
over-crowed. Sometimes a large population is a good thing, but in these cases
the population was too big and caused many health problems. The lack of planning for
migrations of this magnitude led to many social problems. During urbanization
in America, living conditions were very
dirty and unhealthy. Cities were unsanitary along with diseased filled streets.
As mentioned before there were no sanitation and no city code regulations to
follow to force city cleanup and maintain sanitation. Diseased filled
sewage ran into neighboring streams, rivers, lakes, and even the seas.
Eventually, communicable diseases such as typhoid, dysentery, plague, and
diarrhea spread very fast leading to major suffering and even deaths.
History has always been marked by movements so the public’s
environmental agenda wasn’t any different and the steady pressure to create
national pollution laws led to a task force calling itself Environmental Action
in the 1970’s. In 1970 the world held
its first “Earth Day” however, according to library of congress,
approximately 80% of all diseases and 25% of all deaths in developing countries
are caused by polluted water and insufficient water supply.
for sewage treatment weren’t available until 1895. In 1864, the New
York physician named Stephen Smith organized and directed a sanitary survey of
New York City, a landmark event in the history of American public health. (
Melosi,2000). Massachusetts passed the first factory safety and health law in
America in 1877 and established an inspection force in 1879. Edwin Chadwick
introduced the “Sanitary Idea,” and was instrumental in creating a
central public health administration that paved the way for drainage, sewers,
garbage disposal, regulation of housing, and regulations regarding nuisances and
offensive trades. This “sanitary idea” resulted in remarkable improvements
in health and well-being. In 1963, in an effort to reduce air pollution, the U.S.
Congress passed the Clean Air Act, legislation however, as of 2007 46% of all Americans
still reside in cities with unhealthy levels of pollution according to the
American Lung Association.
Today we can walk into your local grocery store and fill
your shopping cart with a variety of fresh produce. We are able to push our
carts and head to the cereal aisle to pick out our favorite box of breakfast
cereal. We have a so many choices to choose from. Almost everything we want is
at our finger tips and as long we have the money to afford it, we can have it. What
you probably don’t realize is that these conveniences that you experience
today, would not be a reality if it were not for the Agricultural and
industrial Revolutions that took place hundreds of years ago. The advancements
in farming techniques and equipment that happened during the Agricultural
Revolution changed our lives and has had significant impacts on our
environment. According to Hartwell, the
industrial revolution was the “great discontinuity” that built the foundations
for our modern society. Since the beginning of the modern environmental
movement more has been learned about the environment, and the focus of
environmental groups has slowly shifted from local issues to wider, national
and global issues. Early awareness and well thought out plans in the future
will help us save our environment and reduce diseases such as cancers that come
from pollutions. Some times we have to understand that less is not always
better. We may have to do things by hand that require more labor and maybe even
more labor hours but if it saves our future earth and increases the overall
well being and health of our future children then it is all worth it.