Negative Aspects and Hazardous Effects of Forest Environment on Human Health

  • Marek Tomalak
  • Elio Rossi
  • Francesco Ferrini
  • Paola A. Moro


Direct contacts with the nature can help people to improve their overall health and fitness. However, visits to forests and other open green spaces may also, occasionally, lead to health problems, or even threaten human life. Senescent and potentially unstable trees, fallen leaves and fruits which litter pavements and streets, possible encounters with wild animals, deteriorating tree quality by pests and pathogens or even plant protection activity directed at solving these problems may be perceived as negative aspects being unpleasant, detracting, scary, dangerous, or otherwise unattractive, although, objectively, in most cases they are not such. On the other hand, a number of allergic factors such as plant pollen and spores of moulds, toxic and poisonous mushrooms and plants, tick-borne pathogens, blood-feeding and stinging insects, as well as venomous snakes and predatory mammals can, occasionally, pose a real hazard to human health. In many cases these hazards are not even realized by visitors to open green spaces. The objective of this chapter is not to scare visitors to forests and urban parks, but make them aware of potential hazards related with their visits. It is to show potential threats and suggest periods, places and situations which should be avoided in order to keep these visits safe and rewarding for the health and well-being.


Green Space Olive Tree Brown Bear Urban Green Space Horse Chestnut 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marek Tomalak
    • 1
  • Elio Rossi
    • 2
  • Francesco Ferrini
    • 3
  • Paola A. Moro
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Plant ProtectionNational Research InstitutePoznanPoland
  2. 2.Homeopathic ClinicCampo di Marte HospitalLuccaItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze delle Produzioni Vegetali, del Suolo e dell’Ambiente AgroforestaleUniversità di FirenzeFlorenceItaly
  4. 4.Poison Control CentreNiguarda Ca’ Granda HospitalMilanItaly

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