Rich countries driving pollution in poor countries
October 22, 2008
Rich countries are driving pollution in poor countries through mining of raw materials and outsourcing of industrial manufacturing, reports a new report from environmental NGOs Blacksmith and Green Cross Switzerland.
The report, which lists the ten most dangerous pollution problems, names pollution as “one of the leading contributing factors to death and disability in the world and highlights the disproportionate effects on the health of children.”
“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,” said Richard Fuller, founder of Blacksmith Institute. “Remediation is both possible and cost-effective.”
The ten worst pollution problems listed by the report are artisanal gold mining, contaminated surface water, groundwater contamination, indoor air pollution, industrial mining activities, metals smelters and processing, radioactive waste and uranium mines, untreated sewage, urban air quality, and used lead acid battery recycling.
While indoor air pollution from cooking fires is a major cause of sickness and premature death, about half the pollution sources named in the report are linked to the processing or manufacture of goods used in industrialized countries. Rich countries are also exporting their manufacturing-heavy and consumption-dependent development model to poor countries.
The report notes that beyond health consequences, pollution can cause neurological damage, lowering intelligence and triggering phycological problems.
The report also includes sub-lists: The Top Four Least Addressed Pollution Problems; The Top Eight Pollution Problems Affecting Children; The Top Seven Pollution Problems in Africa; and The Top Four Pollution Problems Affecting Future Generations.
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