Pollution in the world


Pollution is responsible for 40% of deaths worldwide, according to a study, published in 2007, conducted by a Cornell research group.

Two international environmental groups – U.S.-based Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland – issued The World’s Worst Pollution Problems: The Top Ten of The Toxic Twenty.

The Top Ten list includes commonly discussed pollution problems like urban air pollution as well as more overlooked threats like car battery recycling. The problems included in the report have a significant impact on human health worldwide and result in death, persistent illness, and neurological impairment for millions of people, particularly children. Many of these deaths and related illnesses could be avoided with affordable and effective interventions.

Our goal with the 2008 report is to increase awareness of the severe toll that pollution takes on human health and inspire the international community to act. Remediation is both possible and cost-effective. Clean air, water and soil are human rights.” Richard Fuller, founder of Blacksmith Institute

Blacksmith Institute’s World’s Worst Pollution Problems list is unranked and includes:

  • Indoor air pollution: adverse air conditions in indoor spaces. An estimated 80% of households in China, India, and Sub Saharan Africa burn biomass fuels in improperly ventilated spaces for their cooking energy. IAP contributes to three million deaths annually and constitutes 4% of the global burden of disease.
  • Urban air quality: adverse outdoor air conditions in urban areas. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 865,000 deaths per year worldwide can be directly attributed to outdoor air pollution. Leaded gasoline (in countries where it is still used) and the combustion of fossil fuels, especially coal and diesel fuel, play a major role in air pollution.
  • Untreated sewage: untreated waste water. WHO estimates that 1.5 million preventable deaths per
    year result from unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or hygiene.
  • Groundwater contamination: pollution of underground water sources as a result of human activity. Fresh drinking water makes up only 6% of the total water on Earth and only 0.3% is usable for drinking.
  • Contaminated surface water: pollution of rivers or shallow dug wells mainly used for drinking and cooking. Almost 5 million deaths in the developing world annually are due to water related diseases, much of this being preventable with adequate supplies of safe water.
  • Artisanal gold mining: small scale mining activities that use the most basic methods to extract and process minerals and metals. Mercury amalgamation, a by-product of artisanal and small-scale mining affects up to 15 million miners, including 4.5 million women and 600,000 children.
  • Industrial mining activities: larger scale mining activities with excessive mineral wastes. Unless a major accident occurs, the effects are often chronic in nature3 and include irritation of eyes, throat, nose, skin; diseases of the digestive tract, respiratory system, blood circulation system, kidney, liver; a variety of cancers; nervous system damage; developmental problems; and birth defects.

Tom Lehrer

This song is performed on The Remains of Tom Lehrer
and That Was the Year that Was.


If you visit American city,
You will find it very pretty.
Just two things of which you must beware:
Don’t drink the water and don’t breathe the air.

Pollution, pollution,
They got smog and sewage and mud.
Turn on your tap and get hot and cold running crud.

See the halibuts and the sturgeons
Being wiped out by detergents.
Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly,
But they don’t last long if they try.

Pollution, pollution,
You can use the latest toothpaste,
And then rinse your mouth with industrial waste.

Just go out for a breath of air,
And you’ll be ready for Medicare.
The city streets are really quite a thrill.
If the hoods don’t get you, the monoxide will.

Pollution, pollution,
Wear a gas mask and a veil.
Then you can breathe, long as you don’t inhale.

Lots of things there that you can drink,
But stay away from the kitchen sink.
Throw out your breakfast garbage, and I’ve got a hunch
That the folks downstream will drink it for lunch.

So go to the city, see the crazy people there.
Like lambs to the slaughter,
They’re drinking the water
And breathing (cough) the air.

Published in: on marzo 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm  Dejar un comentario  

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