How does pollution impact on people's lives?
Whilst global warming and climate change are dominating the headlines these days, the everyday by products of mankind's impact on the planet are sometimes ignored. We're talking not about the melting of the icecaps or deforestation of the rainforests, but the likes of contaminated water supplies and urban air quality that are the result of pollutants from highly industrialised nations.
Today, in the 21st century, over a billion people are affected each year by pollutants in water, the air and food. As a result, millions died from being poisoned.
Those affected by pollution are also more likely to contract other diseases due to have weaker or damaged immune systems. Areas in the developing world where long-term health problems are prevalent, are often compounded by poor air quality and untreated water.
According to the The World Health Organisation, 25 percent of deaths in the developing world are directly attributed to environmental factors - a large proportion of these are children who are more susceptible to environmental risks.
Untreated water is a particular factor that lead to death. In 1998, 2.2 million people died from diarrhea caused by pollutants in the water supply and untreated sewage. Today, up to 90 percent of diarrheal infections are caused by contaminated water and inadequate sanitation. Meanwhile, 60 percent of acute respiratory infections, responsible for an estimated 2 million child deaths a year, can be linked to environmental factors such as air pollution.
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