Military operational international environments, might present many hazards to life and health other than just hostile actions. Diseases and non-battle injuries, particularly from food-, water- or vector-borne infectious agents, have historically accounted for the vast majority of casualties in almost all military operations.
Short and long-term health risks may also result from such hazards as industrial chemicals, radiation sources, elevated altitude, extreme temperatures, naturally occurring high levels of particulate matter, or excessive noise. Furthermore, the mission compliance in itself, will add to the overall picture of potential exposure sources in the everyday use/emission of compounds such as jet fuel, petrol, diesel fumes, pesticides, repellents, explosives and munitions. Individual health, operational readiness, and mission success require that the above mentioned threats are thoroughly assessed and that the health risks they pose be adequately mitigated or eliminated.
The broad spectrum of potential health threats for deployed troops are sometimes defined as Environmental and Industrial Hazards, EIH, or as named by some nations Environmental and Industrial Health Hazards, EIHH, and highlight the need for a broad approach when addressing exposure concerns within the missions. Lessons identified from recent operations have indicated the need for a better management of the risks from EIHH.