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The World Health Organization guidelines for air quality. Part 2: Air-quality management and the role of the guidelines. [Recomendaciones sobre calidad del aire de la Organización Mundial de la Salud. Parte 2: Manejo de la calidad de aire y papel de las recomendaciones]
EM. The Urban Environment. 2000 Aug; 23-27.In Part 1 of this article (July 2000, pp 29-34), the revised and updated guidelines for air pollutants were presented. It was emphasized that the guideline values and exposure-response relationships should be considered in the framework of air-quality management. Air-quality management is important for several reasons, which become particularly clear if one is looking at the estimated global burden of disease caused by air pollution. Recent estimates of mortality and morbidity caused by indoor and ambient air pollutions are reproduced in Figures 1 and 2. Figure 1 illustrates the daily mortality for urban ambient air exposure, urban indoor air exposure, and rural indoor air exposure as potentially caused by particulate matter in eight regions: Established Market Economies (EME); Eastern Europe (EE); China; India; SoutheastAsia/Western Pacific (SEAWP); Eastern Mediterranean (EM); Latin America (LA); and SubSaharan Africa (SSA). On a global scale, air-pollution-related mortality accounts for 4% to 8% of the total death rate of 52.2 million annually. Figure 2 estimates the number of people with respiratory diseases potentially caused, or exacerbated by, exposure to suspended particulate matter (SPM). Accordingly, between 20% and 30% of 760 million cases of respiratory diseases recorded annually may be affected by suspended particulate matter. These estimates, when viewed along with the existing information on the health effects of air pollution, lead to the conclusion that controlling sources of ambient and indoor air pollution is necessary to avoid a significant increase in the burden of disease it can cause. This issue is addressed in the World Health Organization 19996 Guidelines for Air Quality (hereafter referred to as Guidelines). In Part 2 of this article, we describe the main statements in the Guidelines with respect to ambient and indoor air management. (excerpt)
INTEGRATION. 1994 Jun; (40):11-3.The Prime Minister of Norway discusses issues of population growth and sustainable development. Months before the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, she establishes the basis upon which a global compact on population and development can be built. Individuals and groups in developed countries increasingly implore people in developing countries to reduce their levels of fertility in the interest of environmental protection and sustainable development. People in developing countries, however, point out that the industrialized developed countries have a disproportionately large role in polluting the environment. Fertility declines, lower consumption levels in the North, and less waste are all needed to safeguard the long-term health and survivability of the planet. The world simply cannot sustain a Western level of consumption for all. Accordingly, a commitment by the South to reduce population growth should be coupled with an equal commitment from the North to reduce the strain of consumption and production patterns on the global environment. Individual attitudes and habits must change while internationally coordinated political decisions are also made about the course and content of the world economy. Norway hosted a meeting January 1994 to address changing consumption patterns in hopes of launching a qualitatively new debate on sustainable consumption in the North and to demonstrate to the South that we are serious about our responsibility. As we move ahead, the author stresses the need to recognize the importance of providing education to both men and women, and paying the bill for necessary global reforms.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1989. xiii, 100 p. (UNEP-World Bank Symposium)The World Bank and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have published a book of selected papers presented at a series of workshops (1983-1988) on environmental accounting and its use in development policy and planning. The book also contains three contributions not presented at the workshops but written by workshop participants. Most chapters centers on financial and economic factors and the possibilities of revising the UN System of National Accounts (SNA) to include environmental and natural resource issues. The first chapter reviews environmental and resource accounting and includes a discussion of the failings of current national income measures as well as the depletion of natural resources. The second chapter proposes a measure of sustainable net national product. The third chapter presents a proper measurement of income from depletable natural resources. The fourth chapter suggests a means to introduce natural capital into the SNA. The fifth chapter describes measuring pollution with the national accounts system. Next the book provides guidelines to correct national income for environmental losses. A whole chapter is devoted to the French model of environmental accounting in development policy. A chapter on linkages between environmental and national income accounts follows the French model. The ninth chapter is a discussion on environmental and nonmarket accounting in developing countries. The tenth chapter outlines a proposed environmental accounts system. The eleventh chapter discusses environmental accounting and the system of national accounts. An account of recent developments and future works conclude this volume. The appendix lists the participants at the joint UNEP-World Bank workshops.
New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 1992. xiv, 385 p.The World Resources Institute, the UN Environment Programme, and the UN Development Programme collaborate to produce the World Resources series to provide organizations and individuals with accessible and accurate information on the trends and conditions of natural resources and protection of the environment. This information is needed to reach sustainable development, eliminate poverty, improve the standard of living, and preserve biological life-sustaining systems. This 5th volume stresses sustainable development as does the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. Part I, entitled Sustainable Development, includes an overview chapter and 3 case studies of possible means to achieve sustainable development in industrialized countries, low income countries, and rapidly industrializing countries. Part II focuses on one region of the world, Central Europe, to discuss how it was able to degrade the environment, the magnitude of the damage, and what possible steps to take to ameliorate the situation. Part III addresses basic conditions and trends, key issues, major problems and efforts to resolve them, and recent developments in population and human development, food and agriculture, forests and rangelands, wildlife and habitat, energy, freshwater, oceans and coasts, atmosphere and climate, and policies and institutions (governmental and nongovernmental organizations). Part IV lists core and supporting data from the World Resources Data Base. This volume contains an index and a World Resources Data Base index.
In: The population debate: dimensions and perspectives. Papers of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974. Volume II, compiled by United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. New York, New York, United Nations, 1975. 105-9. (Population Studies No. 57; ST/ESA/SER.A/57)In 1974 World Population Conference in Bucharest, romania, WHO discusses degradation of the environment and population. In developing countries, poor sanitary conditions and communicable diseases are responsible for most illnesses and deaths. Physical, chemical, and psychosocial factors, as well as pathogenic organisms, cause disease and death in developing countries. Variations in individuals and between individuals present problems in determining universally valid norms relating to environment and health. Researchers must use epidemiological and toxicological methods to identify sensitive indicators of environmental deterioration among vulnerable groups, e.g., children and the aged. Changes in demographics and psychosocial, climatic, geographical, geological, and hydrologic factors may influence the health and welfare of entire populations. Air pollution appears to adversely affect the respiratory tract. In fact, 3 striking events (Meuse valley in France , Donora valley in Pennsylvania [US], and London  show that air pollution can directly cause morbidity, especially bronchitis and heart disease, and mortality. Exposure to lead causes irreparable brain damage. Water pollution has risen with industrialization. Use of agricultural chemicals also contribute to water pollution. Repeated exposure to high noise levels can result in deafness. Occupational diseases occur among people exposed to physical, chemical, or biological pollutants at work which tend to be at higher levels than in the environment. Migrant workers from developing countries in Europe live in unsafe and unhygienic conditions. Further, they do not have access to adequate health services. Nevertheless, life expectancy has increased greatly along with urbanization and industrialization. A longer life span and environmental changes are linked with increased chronic diseases and diseases of the aged.
EPA JOURNAL. 1990 Jul-Aug; 16(4):20-2.Approximately 1/3 of the signatories of the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion were developing countries lacking the resources to pay for its implementation. Germany announced at 25% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2005, the Netherlands, the UK, and Japan promised similar steps. The southern hemisphere has to reduce emissions with improved technology from the northern hemisphere, as 45% of greenhouse gases are generated there. There is need to finance such initiatives: $20-50 billion a year is required by 2000 to help these countries. The world Resources Institute proposed a green investment fund for the environment or Ecovest. It was first proposed in eastern Europe by the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFCO) in 1990 with an initial capital of $47 million. The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation set up a $100 million for-profit Environmental Investment Fund for eastern Europe and the developing world for sustainable agriculture, forest management, eco-tourism, renewable energy, and pollution prevention. Debt-for-nature swaps between nongovernmental agencies and governments to purchase debt at discount have been paid in bonds for nature conservation in Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Zambia, and Madagascar. $69 million of Costa Rica's debt was converted in 2 years to save parks, protected areas, and finance reforestation. The debts of some African countries have been written off by donor countries. The Bush Administration proposed to write off parts of Latin America's $7 billion debt. The Global Environment Fund of the World Bank proposed to lend $300-400 million a year for environmental projects in developing countries and in eastern Europe. The main goals are to protect the ozone layer, prevent deforestation and desertification, and clean up pollution. Some companies finance reforestation in Guatemala to offset their own emissions.
In: Population and resources in a changing world: current readings, edited by Kingsley Davis, Mikhail S. Bernstam, Helen M. Sellers. Stanford, California, Stanford University, Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, 1989. 245-61.Fresh water continues to be at the center of various disputes. Population growth, agricultural activities, and industrial development lead to an increase in water demand especially in developing countries. Measures to improve conditions in upstream countries threaten the water supply of downstream countries. For example, proposed and/or actual diversion of water from the Jordan River lies at the center of various armed and unarmed conflicts in the Middle East including the 1967 Arab Israeli War and the 1982-85 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Bangladesh and India continue their 30-year feud over the Ganges River. India diverted the Ganges very close to Bangladesh to reduce silting in the port of Calcutta which caused a reduced dry season flow. Egypt fears that Sudan and Ethiopia will use more water from the Nile River basin due to their increased needs stemming from rapid population growth and drought. Both Sudan and Ethiopia did jointly fund the Jonglei Canal project in southern Sudan but construction halted due to internal conflicts between the northern and southern regions of Sudan. Dumping of salts into the Rhine River from potassium mines in the Alsace region of France has resulted in a very high salt load. The last upstream country, the Netherlands, is willing to pay partial costs to reinject the salt into the mines but France objects since it may contaminate the aquifers. Large-scale irrigation in the US increased salinity in the colorado River which resulted in much crop loss in Mexico. After 10 years, the US finally agreed to reduce salinity. Erosion and sedimentation poses problems for countries with rivers serving as their borders. Other sources of water-related tension include multinational aquifers and uncontrolled land erosion. Possible modes to prevent and manage conflict are creation of an international law of water resources and international river commissions.
WORLD HEALTH. 1991 Mar-Apr; 14-5.Less developed countries are undergoing rapid, unplanned, and uncontrolled urbanization at the expense of their populations' health. Physical expansion of cities has outpaced the abilities of city planners and management and has contributed to the spread of tuberculosis, pneumonia, influenza, threadworm, cholera, dysentery, and other diarrheal diseases. Overcrowding, lack of access roads, dangerous roads, drinking water scarcity, frequently collapsing buildings, uncollected garbage, lack of sewers, inadequate air space, and houses littered with human feces are common conditions contributing to high mortality rates especially among children. In this context, the World Health Organization's Environmental Health in Rural and Urban Development Program, which is designed to promote awareness about the association between health and planning, is noted. Guidelines for change are also a component of the program, and are encouraged for adoption by planners of less developed countries, especially Africa. Urban rehabilitation and upgrading are recommended in the guidelines while maintaining central focus upon promoting the population's health. While examples of rampant urbanization are drawn primarily from Nigeria, ancient Greek and Roman societies as well as the UK are mentioned in the context of urban planning with a view to health.
In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 189-90.Population problems should be of great concern to all. The Swiss government is pleased to see the progress that has been made in dealing with population dilemmas since the Bucharest Conference, 1974. However, the government, taking into consideration the diversity of different cultures, believes that it is up to each government to individually decide their own approach to dealing with population problems. In developing countries high population growth has made it difficult for governments to deal with the poverty created by these dilemmas. The results are poor or inadequate social facilities. However, in developed countries the governments have to deal with an aging society and damage done to non-renewable resources. The Swiss government will continue to give support to individual governments, in addition to international NGOs such as the UN.
In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 159.In the last past 30 years, the world has experienced an increase in its population, making the implementation of population programmes paramount concern worldwide. Population increase has had an alarming effect on the socioeconomic development of Turkey. The constitution of the Turkish government supports the principle of the rights of individuals to choose freely, the number and spacing of their children, as outlined in the World Plan of Action, 1974. Within the context of the constitution, the Turkish government looks to implement programmes designed to protest both mother and child and designed also, to reach the remotest parts of the country. The government hopes to maintain a population growth equal to its economic and social growth. However, the Turkish government feels that the implementation of population programmes should be on both an international and national scale. The government hopes that the Mexico Conference will be a success.
In: State of the world 1988. A Worldwatch Institute report on progress toward a sustainable society. New York, New York, W.W. Norton, 1988. 3-21.Most of the recognized threats to the world environment, such as the destruction of forests by acid rain, the ozone hole, population growth, energy use, and the greenhouse effect, have moved from hypothetical projections to present-day realities which can be solved only by international efforts. The Montreal accords of 1987 to limit the production of chlorofluorocarbons and the UN call for a cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war were steps in this direction. But a look at the "vital signs" of the earth as expressed by environmental crises will show how much more is needed. Deforestation for agriculture and logging causes as estimated loss of 11 million hectares of forest each year. Deforestation means erosion. The topsoil layer, once 6-10 inches deep over the globe is being blown or washed away at the rate of 26 billion tons a year. The soil is not only being depleted, it is being contaminated by agricultural pesticides and toxic wastes. In Poland, for example, 1/4 of the soil is unfit for food production, and only 1% of the water is safe for drinking due to chemical contamination. The depletion of the ozone layer is no longer observed only in Antarctica; it has dropped up to 9% in North Dakota, Maine, and Switzerland. The loss of forests and the acidification of lakes and soil are causing whole species to become extinct. World population continues to grow, as each year 80 million more people are born than die. But the real problem is not population growth per se; it is the relationship between population size and the sustainable yield of local forests, grasslands, and croplands. In 1982 India's forests could sustain an annual harvest of 30 million tons of wood; the estimated demand was 133 million tons. In 9 Southern African countries the number of cattle exceed the carrying capacity of the grasslands by 50% to 100%. In India enough fodder is raised to supply only 50% to 80% of the needs of cattle. The results of deforestation, overgrazing and overplowing is desertification, which compounded by drought, brings famine. The relationship between population growth and land degradation is reflected in per capita food production. In China it has risen by 1/3 since 1970, but in Africa it has fallen by 1/5; and India, despite the Green Revolution, will have to import grain if there is another failure of the monsoons. Another indicator of environmental ill-health is energy consumption, which is again on the rise. Industrial use of oil and coal, especially in the US, the USSR, and China, has resulted in air pollution and acid rain, which by September 1987 had damaged 30.7 million hectares of forests in Europe. But by far the most serious result of the burning of fossil fuels and wood is the 7 billion tons of carbon discharged annually into the atmosphere, causing the greenhouse effect, which will raise the global temperature between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius by year 2050. Patterns of World settlement and agriculture will change drastically; irrigation and drainage systems will have to be adjusted; and a rise in sea levels between 1.4 and 2.2 meters by year 2100 could inundate coastal cities. In view of these deteriorating "vital signs" of the planet, nations must work together to turn one earth into one world. The Montreal accord on ozone protection and the 1987 US-Soviet arms limitation were a good beginning. The greenhouse effect and the changing climate are logical candidates for the next round of world environmental deliberations.
Targets for health for all. Targets in support of the European regional strategy for health for all.
Copenhagen, Denmark, WHO, Regional Office of Europe, 1985. x, 201 p.This book sets out the fundamental requirements for people to be healthy, to define the improvements in health that can be realized by the year 2000 for the peoples of the European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO), and to propose action to secure those improvements. Its purposes are as follows: propose improvements in the health of the people in order to achieve health for all by the year 2000; indicate where action is called for, the extent of the collective effort required, and the lines along which it should be directed; provide a tool for countries and the Region to Monitor progress toward the goal and revise their course of action if necessary. The targets proposed are intended to indicate the improvements that could be expected if all the will, knowledge, resources, and technology already available were pooled in the pursuit of a common goal. The target levels set are based on historical trends in the fields concerned, their expected future evolution, and the knowledge available on the probable effects of intervention. These levels are intended to inspire and motivate Member States when they are determining their own priorities, targets, and capabilities and thus the degree to which they can contribute to reaching the regional targets. The base year for all the targets in 1980. The year 2000 is the completion data retained for all targets related to health improvements. Targets related to lifestyles, the environment and care respectively have 1990 or 1995 as their date of completion unless specific problems justify the allocation of a later year. Targets embodying measures to bring about the changes in research and health development support should be reached before 1990. The aim is to give people a positive sense of health so that they can make full use of their physical, mental, and emotional capacities. A well informed, well motivated, and actively participating community is a key element to the attainment of the common goal. The focus of the health care system should be on primary health care -- meeting the basic health needs of each community through services provided as close as possible to where people live and work, readily accessible and acceptable to all, and based on full community participation. Health problems transcend national frontiers.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. ix, 534 p. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements ST/ESA/SER.A/90)Contained in this volume are the report (Part I) and the selected papers (Part II) of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment and Development which review past trends and their likely future course in each of the 4 areas, taking into account not only evolving concepts but also the need to consider population, resources, environment and development as a unified structure. Trends noted in the population factor include world population growth and the differences between rates in the developed and developing countries; the decline in the proportion of the population who are very young and the concomitant increase in the average age of the population. Discussed within the resource factor are the labor force, the problem of increasing capital shortage, expenditures on armaments, trends in the supply and productivity of arable land, erosion and degradation of topsoil and energy sources. Many of the problems identified overlap with the environment factor, which centers on the problem of pollution. The group on the development factor was influenced by a pervasiv sense of "crisis" in current economic trends. Concern was also expressed regarding the qualitative aspects of current development trends, defined as the perverse effects of having adopted inappropriate styles of development. Part II begins with a general overview of recent levels and trends in the 4 areas along with the concepts of carrying capacity and optimum population. Other papers discuss the impact of trends in resources, environment and development on demographic prospects; long-term effects of global population growth on the international system; economic considerations in the choice of alternative paths to a stationary population and the need for integration of demographic factors in development planning. The various papers on the resources and environment factor focus on resources as a barrier to population growth; the effects of population growth on renewable resources; food production and population growth in Africa; the frailty of the balance between the 4 areas and the need for a holistic approach on a scale useful for regional planning. Also addressed are: social development; population and international economic relations; development, lifestyles, population and environment in Latin America; issues of population growth, inequality and poverty; health, population and development trends; education requirements and trends in female literacy; the challenge posed by the aging of populations; and population and development in the ECE region.