Meikirch model

Component 5: Environmental determinants

The environmental determinants include the whole biosphere, i.e. in particular the environment we need for nutrition and recreation. In addition they include the quality of water, air, soil, or e.g. in Switzerland a natural deficiency of iodine and fluorine.

Borreliosis and malaria, i.e. diseases that are transmitted from animals to man are also considered to be related to environmental determinants. Similarly, overuse of antibiotics in animal husbandry may lead to antibiotic resistance in man.

Environmental Protection is Health protection

According to the Meikirch model environmental protection is essential for health. Implementation of e.g. measures for good quality of natural waters and for reduced pollution by noise and exhaust gases reduce negative consequences for health.

Examples of preventive health care concerning the environment

Positive examples in Switzerland are the iodization of cooking and table salt and fluoridation of tooth pastes to prevent thyroid diseases and dental caries.

Construction of avalanche barriers and of houses resistant to earthquakes also protects health.