Health and Pollution : Factfile

There are 9 documents in this section.

  • Water and sanitation

    4 April 2008

    The provision of clean water and proper sanitation would do more than any other improvement to reduce sickness and death in the developing world. Cholera was eliminated in Europe not by vaccines or antibiotics but by clean water and proper sanitation.

  • The good news

    28 March 2008

    As of 2008, three advances in environmental disease control should be noted:

  • Pesticides and chemical pollution

    29 September 2007

    In many regions, especially in the developing world, environmental health problems are made worse by pollution from industry and agriculture. Chemical agents, particularly airborne ones, are major factors in causing and worsening tuberculosis, bronchitis, heart disease, cancers and asthma.

  • Climate change and disease

    28 September 2007

    Changes in climate are likely to affect the incidence of diseases such as malaria, dengue and schistosomiasis by extending the range of their vector insects. A temperature rise of 1-2 degrees centigrade could result in an increase of the population at risk of contracting dengue by several hundred million, with 20,000-30,000 more dengue deaths a year by 2050.

  • Occupational health, new lifestyles

    28 September 2007

    The workplace is the most hazardous environment. In many developing countries bad working conditions or exposure to toxic chemicals, dust and allergenic or carcinogenic agents affect millions, as does exposure to insecticides and other toxic chemicals on the land.

  • E-waste and techno trash

    28 September 2007

    Huge quantities of hazardous electronic wastes (E-wastes) are being exported to China, Pakistan and India where they are processed in recycling operations - burning of plastics and wires, riverbank acid works to extract gold, melting and burning of toxic soldered circuit boards and the cracking and dumping of toxic lead laden cathode ray tubes - that are extremely harmful to human health and the environment.

  • Insect-borne diseases

    27 September 2007

    Diseases carried by insects and other vectors affect more than 700 million people every year, and are considered the most sensitive to climatic and environment conditions.

  • Air pollution

    27 September 2007

    Clean air is considered to be a basic requirement of human health and well-being. But air pollution continues to pose a significant threat to health worldwide. According to a WHO assessment of the burden of disease due to air pollution, more than 2 million premature deaths each year can be attributed to the effects of urban outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution (caused by the burning of solid fuels). More than half of this disease burden is borne by the populations of developing countries.

  • Overcrowding

    26 September 2007

    Rapid, unplanned urbanization can be an important source of health problems. By 2007, urban dwellers for the first time in history outnumbered those in the traditionally rural areas. The urban population of the developing world - already over 2 billion - is set to double by 2030.