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    079449

    Environmental deterioration and population.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    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 [1930], Donora valley in Pennsylvania [US], and London [1952] 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.
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