Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field studying human interactions with the environment involving both science and engineering. It studies the relationships between physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment and how they all interact with each other. Environmental science is a multidisciplinary field of science because it draws upon knowledge from many other scientific fields such as biology, chemistry, physics, geology, natural science, economics, social science, political science, philosophy, humanities, and ethics. There are three primary purposes of environmental science which are understanding the natural environment, understanding how human activity is altering the environment, and discovering methods of reducing or improving the role human activity is playing in relation to the environment.
Environmental science first gained wide public attention in the 1980s after the U.S Congress passed the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other environmentally focused legislation. The legislation acknowledged the need to prevent further environmental degradation from pollution and begin minimizing the volume and types of of toxins released by human activity into the environment.