The human eco-system, a frame for evaluating health determinants
Environmental health modulates the health of populations and individuals via the interaction of the three components of the human eco-system: abiotic, biotic and cultural.
What Lalonde called medium in his report includes the abiotic and biotic mediums, while lifestyles are part of the cultural environment, which changes faster and is more capable of modifying the other two environmental components, both voluntarily and involuntarily.
The biodiversity sets with which we co-habit make up the biotic medium, with whose species we establish relationships which may condition, among other things, our nutritional health and the risk of catching infectious diseases.
The abiotic medium integrates land, water and atmosphere, where different species live, and provides essential elements for life such as water and oxygen, while generating the environmental conditions which are essential for health, like climate and light. The presence of certain harmful species or physical-chemical pollutants increases respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
Finally, the cultural medium acts as a tampon between human health and the biotic and abiotic components of the medium, protecting or generating situations which modulate the biological and emotional health of individuals and populations, poverty being the biggest environmental danger.