Industrial pollution puts millions of people at risk

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, October 25, 2012
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The advocacy groups noted that their numbers "are by no means conclusive, but can be taken as indicative of the potential scale of the problem."

The researchers analyzed data from their own field studies at toxic sites and combined that with census data as well as epidemiological studies to extrapolate an estimate of the health problems involved.

Smaller companies, often producing for local markets, tended to have the biggest negative health impact. No specific companies were named in the report.

The researchers used the notion of a disability-adjusted life year, or DALY, which is a measure of the number of years an individual loses from a healthy lifespan because of sickness, disability or early death.

In those 49 countries, representing about two-thirds of the world's population, they estimated more than 17 million years of healthy life were lost because of pollutants caused by industries, compared to 14 million for malaria, 25 million for tuberculosis and nearly 29 million for HIV.

It is easier, the report said, to diagnose and count people with HIV than it is to count the number of children whose brain development is slowly stunted by chronic exposure to lead from industrial sources.

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