Pollution is a Global Killer
Pollution likely affects over a billion people around the world, with millions poisoned and killed each year. The World Heath Organization estimates that 25 percent of all deaths in the developing world are directly attributable to environmental factor.1 Some researchers estimate that exposure to pollution causes 40 percent of deaths annually.2
Pollution is Regarded as a Major (and quickly emerging) Factor in Disease
People affected by pollution problems are much more susceptible to contracting other diseases. Others have impaired neurological development, damaged immune systems, and long-term health problems.
Women and Children are Especially at Risk, Children are Most Susceptible
Children are physiologically different and more vulnerable than adults. In some cases they have higher exposures since they eat, drink and breathe more per kilogram of body weight than adults and tend to ingest a lot more dirt and house dust than adults from their crawling around and playing outside.
While children only make up 10 percent of the world’s population, over 40 percent of the global burden of disease falls on them. Indeed, more than three million children under age five die annually from environmental factors.
Death is Not the Only Toll of Exposure to Pollutants
Pollution causes chronic illness, neurological damage and shortened lifespan. For instance, the presence of lead in children lowers I.Q. by an estimated 4-7 points for each increase of 10 μg/dL.3 Our database identifies populations around the globe with blood lead levels ranging from 50 -100 μg/dL, up to 10 times the WHO reference levels for protection against neurological damage.
Pollution is Worst in the Developing World
The world’s worst polluted places are in the developing world. Similar conditions no longer exist in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia today. In wealthier countries, there are sufficient legal, political, cultural and