“Environmental sanitation” means the art and science of applying sanitary, biological and physical science principles and knowledge to improve and control the environment and factors therein for the protection of the health and welfare of the public. HOW DOES SANITATION AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT? Inadequate sanitation, particularly in the context of urbanization, allows for sewage or waste to flow directly into streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands, affecting coastal and marine ecosystems, fouling the environment and exposing millions of children to disease. Improved sanitation reduces environmental burdens, increases sustainability of environmental resources and allows for a healthier, more secure future for the population.
IMPORTANCE: Sanitation is important for all, it safely reduces human exposure to pathogens. Helping to maintain health and increase life-spans. However, it is especially important for children. Around the world, over 800 children under age five die every day from preventable diarrhea-related diseases caused by lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene. In addition, diarrhea causes children to lose their appetites, which can lead to malnourishment. Limited access to sanitation has become such a worldwide problem that 1 in every 4 children suffer from stunted growth. This leads to “irreversible physical and cognitive damage.”. Sanitation differs from hygiene in that it provides the means for people to be hygienic. Hygiene is the ability to participate in “conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of disease.”