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Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 164 p.In 2015, 26% of the deaths of 5.9 million children who died before reaching their fifth birthday could have been prevented through addressing environmental risks – a shocking missed opportunity. The prenatal and early childhood period represents a window of particular vulnerability, where environmental hazards can lead to premature birth and other complications, and increase lifelong disease risk including for respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease and cancers. The environment thus represents a major factor in children’s health, as well as a major opportunity for improvement, with effects seen in every region of the world. Children are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, because it is children who will inherit the legacy of policies and actions taken, and not taken, by leaders today. The third SDG, to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” has its foundation in children’s environmental health, and it is incumbent on us to provide a healthy start to our children’s lives. This cannot be achieved, however, without multisectoral cooperation, as seen in the linkages between environmental health risks to children and the other SDGs. This publication is divided by target: SDGs 1, 2 and 10 address equity and nutrition; SDG 6 focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); SDGs 7 and 13 call attention to energy, air pollution and climate change; SDGs 3, 6 and 12 look at chemical exposures; and SDGs 8, 9 and 11 study infrastructure and settings.
2015 Nov; New York, New York, UNICEF, 2015 Nov. 84 p.This report aims to build the evidence base on children and climate change by focusing on the major climate-related risks; children’s current and future exposure to these risks; and the policies required to protect children from these risks. The report has three sections. The first section explores the major climate-related risks and their potential impacts on children – how climate change might influence the burden of disease for children – and examines the cumulative impact of repetitive crises on children and families. The second section examines how children may be affected under various scenarios of action - from business-as-usual to ambitious action in addressing climate change. The final section outlines a series of broad policy recommendations to prevent further global warming, decrease children’s exposure and increase their resilience to climate change and environmental risks.
2016 Oct; New York, New York, UNICEF, 2016 Oct. 100 p.This report looks at how children, particularly the most disadvantaged, are affected by air pollution. It points out that around 300 million children live in areas where the air is toxic – exceeding international limits by at least six times – and that children are uniquely vulnerable to air pollution, breathing faster than adults on average and taking in more air relative to their body weight. The report also notes that air pollution is a major contributing factor in the deaths of around 600,000 children under age 5 every year and threatens the health, lives and futures of millions more. It concludes with a set of concrete steps to take so that children can breathe clean, safe air.
UN Chronicle. 2002 Dec; 39(4): p..Almost 5 million children die each year from preventable causes. Environmental hazards kill the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of children every 45 minutes. These scary statistics have spurred the World Health Organization (WHO) to launch a new -- movement to try and tackle the crisis and reduce by two thirds the number of deaths of under-five-year-olds by 2015. Under WHO Director-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the movement is busy mobilizing partners, such as key organizations and Governments, to achieve results in six areas: household water quality and availability; hygiene and sanitation; indoor and outdoor air pollution; disease vectors such as mosquitoes; chemicals; and accidents. According to Dr. Brundtland, the provision of healthy environments for children would be one of the highest social and political priorities of the decade. "Our top priority must be in investing in the future of children, a group that is particularly vulnerable to environmental hazards." She identified "hazards" as being dangers present in the environment in which children live, learn and play. She added that increased industrialization, explosive urban population growth and lack of pollution control were just a few added factors that affect children's lives. (excerpt)
Healthy environments for children: workshop on the "promotion of collaborative research", Pattaya, Thailand, 3-5 February 2003.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2003. 36 p.Children’s exposure to environmental threats has been recognized as an increasing problem in many countries of the South East Asia and Western Pacific Regions. Both traditional threats, such as lack of access to safe water and sanitation and new, emerging environmental risks, such as those posed by endocrine disrupters, are a cause of concern. In addition, more is known–but not enough- about the special “windows of susceptibility” in children, periods when the timing of exposure may be more important than the dose. Despite the rising concern of the scientific community, progress has been slow in the identification and study of some environmental threats on children’s health and the efficacy of interventions. (excerpt)
Introduction and methods: assessing the environmental burden of disease at national and local levels.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2003.  p. (Environmental Burden of Disease Series No. 1)The objective of the guides is to provide practical information to countries on how to assess what fraction of a national or subnational disease burden is attributable to an environmental risk factor. To assess the disease burden of a risk factor, the harmful effects of the risk factor on human health must be estimated fully, as well as the distribution of the harmful effects in the population. Any estimates and assumptions used in the assessment should be stated explicitly. The outcome of the assessment is information that can be used: to guide policies and strategies both in the health sector and in the environmental sector; to monitor health risks; and to analyse the cost-effectiveness of interventions. For example, the information can highlight the contribution of major environmental risk factors to the total disease burden of a country or study population. Or, it can be used to estimate changes in the disease burden and avoidable disease burden, following interventions to reduce an environmental risk factor or to change behaviour. (excerpt)
[Geneva, Switzerland], World Health Organization [WHO], 2000. 93 p.The overall aim of the consultation was to advance the agenda of the evaluation of disease burden from environmental risk factors. This consultation was part of an ongoing process aiming primarily at the following: To provide methodological guidance on the quantitative assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risk factors at national or regional level; the process should result in a practical guide. To create a network of experts interested in developing the conceptual and practical implementation of environmental disease burden assessment and sharing experience to define priorities in future developments. This meeting constitutes the first consultation of experts in the framework of this project. The participants undertook a structured review of the proposed elements and methodological approaches for environmental burden of disease assessment. A first draft of the methodological elements is provided below. This was tabled in a series of presentations and developed during the meeting. This project builds upon a previous consultation organized by WHO/ILO. Several papers from that consultation were published in the September 1999 issue of the journal Epidemiology. It also builds upon and adapts concepts put forward in the global assessment methodology of the GBD study. In 1999 the Department of Protection of the Human Environment intensified its efforts and started a project to specifically address the Environmental Burden of Disease (EBD). This is the first meeting dedicated to this project. (excerpt)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 175-188.This analysis looks at the United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA's) work in the area of population-environment-development linkages. It then analyses the collective effects of 6 billion people, their consumption patterns, and resource use trends, in six different critical resource areas. (excerpt)
Social Science and Medicine. 2003 Oct; 57(8):1397-1407.The battle to completely control cholera continues. Multiple strains, high levels of morbidity in some regions of the world, and a complex of influences on its distribution in people and the environment are accompanied by only rough resolution prediction of outbreaks. Uncertainty as to the most effective array of interventions for one of the most researched infectious diseases thwarts further progress in providing cost-effective solutions. Progress on the research front consistently points towards the importance of disease ecology, coastal environments, and the sea. However, evaluation of the link between cholera in people and environment can only be effective with analysis of human vulnerability to variable coastal cholera ecologies. As there are some clear links between the organism, cholera incidence and the sea, it is appropriate that cholera research should examine the nature of coastal population vulnerability to the disease. The paper reviews the cholera risks of human–environment interactions in coastal areas as one component of the evaluation of cholera management. This points to effective intervention through integrative knowledge of changing human and environmental ecologies, requiring improved detection, but also an acceptance of complex causality. The challenge is to identify indicators and interventions for case specific ecologies in variable locales of human vulnerability and disease hazard. Further work will therefore aim to explore improved surveillance and intervention across the sociobehavioural and ecological spectrum. Furthermore, the story of cholera continues to inform us about how we should more effectively view emergent and resurgent infectious disease hazards more generally. (author's)
Human development report 2003. Millennium Development Goals: a compact among nations to end human poverty.
New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 2003. xv, 367 p.The central part of this Report is devoted to assessing where the greatest problems are, analysing what needs to be done to reverse these setbacks and offering concrete proposals on how to accelerate progress everywhere towards achieving all the Goals. In doing so, it provides a persuasive argument for why, even in the poorest countries, there is still hope that the Goals can be met. But though the Goals provide a new framework for development that demands results and increases accountability, they are not a programmatic instrument. The political will and good policy ideas underpinning any attempt to meet the Goals can work only if they are translated into nationally owned, nationally driven development strategies guided by sound science, good economics and transparent, accountable governance. That is why this Report also sets out a Millennium Development Compact. Building on the commitment that world leaders made at the 2002 Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development to forge a “new partnership between developed and developing countries”—a partnership aimed squarely at implementing the Millennium Declaration—the Compact provides a broad framework for how national development strategies and international support from donors, international agencies and others can be both better aligned and commensurate with the scale of the challenge of the Goals. And the Compact puts responsibilities squarely on both sides: requiring bold reforms from poor countries and obliging donor countries to step forward and support those efforts. (excerpt)
Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 2000 Aug; 36(4):799-809.Drinking of arsenic-contaminated tubewell water has become a serious health threat in Bangladesh. Arsenic contaminated tubewells are believed to be responsible for poisoning nearly two-thirds of this country's population. If proper actions are not taken immediately, many people in Bangladesh will die from arsenic poisoning in just a few years. Causes and consequences of arsenic poisoning, the extent of area affected by it, and local knowledge and beliefs about the arsenic problem - including solutions and international responses to the problem - are analyzed. Although no one knows precisely how the arsenic is released into the ground water, several contradictory theories exist to account for its release. Initial symptoms of the poisoning consist of a dryness and throat constriction, difficulty in swallowing, and acute epigastric pain. Long-term exposure leads to skin, lung, or bladder cancer. Both government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Bangladesh, foreign governments, and international agencies are now involved in mitigating the effects of the arsenic poisoning, as well as developing cost-effective remedial measures that are affordable by the rural people. (author's)
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)
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2003 Apr 12; 326(7393):782.WHO believes that as much as a third of the world’s total burden of disease is caused by environmental factors. Children under 5, who comprise only 10% of the world population, currently bear 40% of the global disease burden. (excerpt)
Report of the National Seminar on Environment and Sustainable Development, Aden, 25-27 February 1989.
[Unpublished] 1989. iv, 131 p.The 1989 final report on the environment and sustainable development includes a summary of events an a summary of types of participants in attendance. The purpose of the seminar was to provide senior national experts, policy makers, planners, and executives (in conjunction with UN representatives) with a forum for examination of issues and to propose recommendations and solutions. The level of awareness must be raised among officials and the public. Policy instruments and action must be identified in order to contribute to sustainable growth and the alleviation of poverty. The principle components of a national environmental strategy were to be outlined. The National Council for Environmental Protection needed to be reactivated. After the opening statements, the topics included in this presentation were the organization and agenda for 5 working groups, development projects and environmental considerations, environmental legislation and institutions, marine and coastal areas environment and resources, environmental awareness and education and human resources, policies and future trends, the seminar declaration and recommendations, and closing statements. The full text is provided for the opening statements, the closing statements, and the background papers. Lists of additional background papers and the seminar steering committee members are also given. The seminar declaration referred to the interlocking crises of development, environment, and energy. Population growth threatens world survival, particularly in the poorest countries. Expected economic growth will further deplete environmental resources and contribute to pollution. The world is bound together by these concerns. International debt forces poor countries to overexploit resources and destroy their production base. Developing countries are still in economic disarray. Economic reform hasn't worked for poor countries, and the resource gap is widening between countries. The answer is sustainable development, which is based on an equitable and rational exploitation of natural resources. International cooperation and peace must be strengthened dialogue and understanding and support for the UN.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan, Dept. of Population Planning and International Health, . xxxiii, 134 p.In August 1989, scientists and leaders of international and national groups met at the international symposium for the Survival of Mankind in Tokyo, Japan, to discuss ideas about the interrelationship between population, environment, and development and obstacles to attaining sustainable development. The President of the Worldwatch Institute opened the symposium with a talk about energy, food, and population. Of fossil fuels, nuclear power, and solar energy, only the clean and efficient solar energy can provide sustainable development. Humanity has extended arable lands and irrigation causing soil erosion, reduced water tables, produced water shortages, and increased salivation. Thus agricultural advances since the 1950s cannot continue to raise crop yields. He also emphasized the need to halt population growth. He suggested Japan provide more international assistance for sustainable development. This talk stimulated a lively debate. The 2nd session addressed the question whether the planet can support 5. 2 billion people (1989 population). The Executive Director of UNFPA informed the audience that research shows that various factors are needed for a successful population program: political will, a national plan, a prudent assessment of the sociocultural context, support from government agencies, community participation, and improvement of women's status. Other topics discussed during this session were urbanization, deforestation, and international environmental regulation. The 3rd session covered various ways leading to North-South cooperation. A Chinese participant suggested the establishment of an international environmental protection fund which would assist developing countries with their transition to sustainable development and to develop clean energy technologies and environmental restoration. Another participant proposed formation of a North-South Center in Japan. The 4th session centered around means to balance population needs, environmental protection, and socioeconomic development.
Washington, D.C., Island Press, 1991. lxii, 272 p.In 1988, the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Program established the Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) to consider scientific data on various factors of the climate change issue, e.g., emissions of major greenhouse gases, and to draw up realistic response strategies to manage this issue. Its members have agreed that emissions from human activities are indeed increasing sizably the levels of carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. The major conclusions are that effective responses need a global effort and both developed and developing countries must take responsibility to implement these responses. Industrialized countries must modify their economies to limit emissions because most emissions into the atmosphere come from these countries. They should cooperate with and also provide financial and technical assistance to developing countries to raise their living standards while preventing and managing environmental problems. Concurrently, developing countries must adopt measures to also limit emissions as their economies expand. Environmental protection must be the base for continuing economic development. There must be an education campaign to inform the public about the issue and the needed changes. Strategies and measures to confront rapid population growth must be included in a flexible and progressive approach to sustainable development. Specific short-term actions include improved energy efficiency, cleaner energy sources and technologies, phasing out CFCs, improved forest management and expansion of forests, improved livestock waste management, modified use and formulation of fertilizers, and changes in agricultural land use. Longer term efforts are accelerated and coordinated research programs, development of new technologies, behavioral and structural changes (e.g., transportation), and expansion of global ocean observing and monitoring systems.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1992. xxxii, 282 p.The WHO Commission on Health and Environment has put together a comprehensive report on the interaction between the state of the environment and human health. There is a need to understand and manage this interaction to bring about a sustainable development which meets people's needs while preserving natural systems. Yet, humankind faces various obstacles to sustainable development, including population growth, migration, urbanization, poverty, resource degradation, and macroeconomic policies. Humans can sustain output of agriculture, forestry, and fishing, if they do not exploit ecological systems. Humans need to at least consider food production, diet, health, land tenure, food contamination, agricultural chemicals, and occupational hazards. They must also effectively and efficiently manage freshwater supplies using means which do not adversely upset natural systems. Humans should move away from using fossil fuels as an energy supply since they are the single largest source of air pollution. They should identify and develop energy supplies which reduce the adverse environment and health effects, e.g., solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. Industrial practices in both developed and developing countries spew air and water pollutants into the environment, generate hazardous wastes, and expose workers to harmful agents. Urbanization poses a special challenge to environmental health, especially where there is little or no infrastructure and services which worsens pollution and environmental health problems. Many environmental and health problems cross boundaries. These include long range transport of air pollution, acid rain, damage of the ozone layer, build up of greenhouse gases, hazardous wastes exported from developed to developing countries, ocean pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Two axioms to a healthier and sustainable world are more equitable access to resources and citizen participation.
[Geneva, Switzerland], World Meteorological Organization [WMO], 1990 Jun. 27 p.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proclaimed that it is certain that the greenhouse effect is real, and it keeps the earth warmer than before. Emissions from human activities significantly increase the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and nitrous oxide leading to warming of the earth's surface, which will result in more water vapor, a major greenhouse gas. It is calculated with confidence that some gases are more effective than others in changing climate. Carbon dioxide has contributed over 1/2 of the greenhouse effect. Long-lived gases, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and CFCs adjust only slowly to changed emissions, and it would take longer for stabilization if emissions continue at the present rate. Over 60% of the emissions of long-lived gases need to be reduced at once to stabilize their concentrations at the present levels. A 15-20% reduction is necessary for methane. Several predictions are made: under the IPCC business-as-usual scenario of continued gas emissions a .3 degrees Celsius increase of global mean temperatures per decade during the 21st century. This exceeds the increase over the last 10,000 years, and would raise global mean temperatures by 1 degree Celsius by 2025 and by 3 degrees by the end of the 21st century. Other scenarios assume controls and yield increases of .1-.2 degrees Celsius per decade. Land surfaces and high northern latitudes would warm rapidly with regional climate changes (higher temperatures and reduced rain in southern Europe and central North America). The average of global sea level rise would be about 6 cm/decade over the 21st century from the expansion of oceans and melting of land ice. By 2030 the rise would be 20 cm and 65 cm by the end of the 21st century. Many uncertainties exist that require more observations, models, and research for better understanding of climate processes.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1991. vi, 65 p. (WHO Technical Report Series 807)This report by WHO's Expert Committee on Environmental Health in Urban Development explains that social and physical factors, including the destruction of the natural environment, place the health of urban dwellers at risk. The report discusses the urbanization phenomenon and its consequences, the problems and needs in environmental health, and provides recommendations. From 1950-80, the world's urban population nearly tripled, with most of the growth occurring in developing countries, where urban population quadrupled. Experts predict that many urban centers in developing countries will have an annual growth rate of more than 3% over the next 40 years. While developed countries have seen declines in the level of population growth, the health risks to its urban inhabitants have nonetheless increased. Technological changes, increased energy consumption, and increased levels of waste have placed great stress on the environment and have increased the health risks. But developing countries have seen even more problems associated with urban living. Rapid urbanization levels have led to overcrowding, congestion, and the destruction of previously unsettled ecosystems. Pollution levels have increased. Due to the lack of sanitation services, the threat of communicable diseases has increased. Social problem such as crime and violence also affect the well-being of urban dwellers. The group at greatest risk includes poor women and children. The report explains that tackling the health problems associated with urbanization will require a major conceptual change, considering that current efforts are ineffectual. Some of the recommendations include: strengthening the management of urban development; strengthening the management and technology for environmental health; and strengthening community action.
Washington, D.C., ZPG, 1988 Aug.  p. (ZPG Fact Sheet)Industrialized nations have emitted gases, which are transforming the Earth into a greenhouse, into the atmosphere for many years. Carbon dioxide (CO2), produced by burning fossil fuels and wood; chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) released by refrigerants and other sources; nitrous oxides, generated by fossil fuels; and methane, produced from decomposition of organic matter, trap infrared rays thereby causing an unprecedented rate of global warming. In the period from 1900-1988, the concentration of CO2 has climbed 20% and the average global temperature has risen >1 degree Fahrenheit. Further, since 1963, the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 essentially equals population growth. Population growth also directly contributes to the increase in atmospheric methane. Forests naturally remove CO2 from the air, yet humans are destroying about 27 million acres of tropical forests/year. If the present fossil fuel rates persist, CO2 concentration will increase 2 fold by 2050 causing a mean global temperature increase of 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Other computer simulations predict changes in global precipitation, droughts, a rise in sea level by 1-4 feet, and the extinction of many species of plants and animals. Scientists major concern is the suddenness of this climatic change because it leaves little time for humans and plant and animal species to adapt. The World Meterological Organization of the United Nations advises that all nations ratify the recommendations of the 1987 Montreal meeting on ozone. 1 recommendation states that the industrialized nations must reduce the production and consumption of CFCs by 50% by the end of the century. Since the US consumes 28% of the world's annual energy consumption, the US should led the world in energy conservation. Any approach that does not advocate resource consumption and population stabilization will fail, however.
Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1987. xv, 400 p.In this report, the World Commission on Environment and Development does not predict ever increasing environmental decay, poverty, and hardship in a world becoming more polluted and experiencing decreasing resources but sees instead the possibility for a new era of economic growth. This era of economic growth must be based on policies that sustain and expand the environmental resource base. Such growth is absolutely essential to relieving the great poverty that is intensifying in much of the developing world. The report suggests a pathway by which the peoples of the world can enlarge their spheres of cooperation. The Commission has focused its attention in the areas of population, food security, the loss of species and genetic resources, and human settlements, recognizing that all are connected and cannot be treated in isolation from each other. 2 conditions must be satisfied before international economic exchanges can become beneficial for all involved: the sustainability of ecosystems on which the global economy depends must be guaranteed; and the economic partners must be satisfied that the basis of exchange is equitable. Neither condition is met for many developing nations. Efforts to maintain social and ecological stability through old approaches to development and environmental protection will increase stability. The Commission has identified several actions that must be undertaken to reduce risks to survival and to put future development on sustainable paths. Such a reorientation on a continuing basis is beyond the reach of present decision making structures and institutional arrangements, both national and international. The Commission has taken care to base its recommendations on the realities of present institutions, on what can and must be accomplished now; yet to keep options open for future generations, the present generation must begin to act now and to act together. The Commission's proposals for institutional and legal change at the national, regional, and international levels are embodied in 6 priority areas: getting at the sources; dealing with the effects; assessing global risks; making informed choices; providing the legal means; and investing in the future.
In: Great decisions 1988: foreign policy issues facing the nation, [by] Foreign Policy Association. New York, New York, Foreign Policy Association, 1988. 62-71.The impact of uncontrolled growth on the state of the world's limited resources and environment was alarmingly brought a public attention by "Global 2000," a report commissioned in 1977 by the Carter administration. A similar assessment was the "Brundtland Report" of the World Commission on Environment and Development, released by the UN in 1987. The question of national growth vs environment is often politically charged because conservation is expensive and often involves political relationships in 2 or more countries. Several specific instances are examined: ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect, acid rain, water pollution, energy resources, nuclear energy, species extinction, soil erosion, and population growth. The ozone hole came to public attention in 1985. Through chemical combination chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been depleting the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere with resulting exposure of the earth to ultraviolet rays, which cause skin cancer. Signatories to an international agreement in 1986 agreed to curtail CFC usage by 50% by 1999. The greenhouse effect, recognized in 1957, involves raising the global temperature through burning of fossil fuels, which increases atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (C02), which prevent the sun's heat from escaping. Acid rain, caused by the release of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere by fossil fuel smelters and power plants, has foreign policy implications; plants in the US cause forest damage in Canada, and plants in Britain cause forest damage in Germany and Scandinavia. Water pollution by toxic chemicals came to public attention when the pollution of Love Canal's water supply prompted Congress in 1980 to create the $1.6 billion Superfund to clean up toxic wastes. The limited supply of oil, controlled by the OPEC nations, was pointedly brought home to the US by the "gas crunch" of the 1970s. The dangers of nuclear energy, as illustrated by Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, have not caused the US to back off from the Shoreham and Seabrook projects. Massive species extinction is expected to result from the destruction of the Amazon rain forests to make way for development. Overfarming and forest destruction in order to increase food production, especially in Third World countries, have caused soil erosion and its attendant decline in soil fertility. Finally, probably the most urgent of all environmental problems is overpopulation. Despite the outstanding successes of China and India in attaining food self-sufficiency, most of the developing countries' population is fast outstripping their food supply. The US, due to the pronatalist policy of the Reagan administration, has withdrawn all financial support from the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). Conservation is expensive; it is argued that activities such as emission controls and development of alternative fuels will prove prohibitively expensive and hence limiting to growth. On the other hand, ecological degradation and uncontrolled population growth will inevitably lead to hunger, misery, and eventually to conflict over the control of the earth's limited resources.
Handbook of resolutions of the governing bodies of the Pan American Health Organization, Vol III: XXII Pan American Sanitary Conference, XXIX to XXXI meeting of the Directing Council, 90th to 97th meeting of the Executive Committee, 1983-1986.
Washington, D.C., PAHO, 1987. xii, 99 p. (Official Document No. 212)This volume includes resolutions of the meetings of the Pan American Sanitary Conference, the Directing Council, and the Executive Committee of PAHO held from 1983 to 1986. Included are general directives and health program resolutions regarding: communicable disease prevention and control; noncommunicable disease prevention and control; diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative technology; promotion of environmental health; health systems development; general health protection and promotion; protection and promotion of the health of specific population groups; training of health personnel; research promotion and development; regional health centers; health information; and supplies and equipment. Also covered are program and budgetary matters, cooperative efforts with WHO and other organizations, constitutional and legal matters, and financial and administrative matters.
Africa Recovery. 2001 Jun; 15(1-2):42.On May 9, 2001, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization released a study which found that stocks of deadly, obsolete pesticides are five times larger than previous estimates and constitute a toxic "ticking time bomb" in Africa and other developing regions. The figures set the amount of prohibited and outdated pesticides at 100,000 tons in Africa and the Middle East, 200,000 tons in Asia, and 200,000 tons in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. These pesticides, including some of the most poisonous compounds ever made, are often stored in deteriorating and leaky containers without adequate safeguards for people and the environment. The WHO estimates that more than 1 million people are affected by exposure to pesticides worldwide, causing 20,000 deaths annually. The problem is particularly severe in sub-Saharan Africa, where farmers and government regulators often lack the financial resources and technical capacity to handle pesticides safely and screen out substandard, banned, and contaminated compounds. Although clean-up efforts are being started, the cost and difficulty of disposing of Africa's obsolete pesticide stocks have hampered such efforts. However, several international agencies are assisting African governments identify and respond to the toxic threat.
HEALTH FOR THE MILLIONS. 2001 Jan-Feb; 27(1):36.Around 30% of pesticides marketed in developing countries with an estimated market value of US $900 million annually do not meet internationally accepted quality standards. They are posing a serious threat to human health and the environment, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have warned. "These poor-quality pesticides frequently contain hazardous substances and impurities that have already been banned or severely restricted elsewhere," said Gero Vaagt, FAO Pesticide Management Group. Such pesticides, he added, often contribute to the accumulation of obsolete pesticide stocks in developing countries. The global market value for pesticides is estimated at US $32 billion in 2000, with the share of developing countries around US $3 billion. In developing countries, pesticides are mainly used for agriculture, but also for public health, such as insecticides for controlling insects spreading malaria. Possible causes of low quality of pesticides can include both poor production and formulation and the inadequate selection of chemicals. "In many pesticide products, for example, the active ingredient concentrations are outside internationally accepted tolerance limits," said Dr. David Heymann, executive director of WHO Communicable Diseases activities. "In addition, poor-quality pesticides may be contaminated with toxic substances or impurities." (full text)