Study finds pollution as dangerous to health in developing world as malaria, TB

"Industrial pollution is putting the health of 125 million people at risk worldwide and is as dangerous in the developing world as malaria or tuberculosis, according to a new report," titled "2012 World's Worst Pollution Problems," Reuters/ABC Science reports (Allen, 10/24). According to the Guardian, the report, published on Tuesday by the Blacksmith Institute in partnership with Green Cross Switzerland, "documents, for the first time, the public health impact of industrial pollutants -- lead, mercury, chromium, radionuclides and pesticides -- in the air, water and soil of developing countries."

"The health impact of exposure to toxins at the 2,600 sites identified in the report was estimated using the disability adjusted life years (DALYs) metric, which the World Health Organization (WHO) and other bodies use to measure overall disease burden," the Guardian writes (Leahy, 10/24). "The advocacy groups note that their numbers 'are by no means conclusive, but can be taken as indicative of the potential scale of the problem,' adding that they expect the figures to be underestimates of the full scale of the problems," Reuters notes (10/24).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



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