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Evidence, Equity, and Economics: Lessons and Challenges of the Environmental Health Movement

  • Mary C. Sheehan
Chapter

Abstract

In all, environmental factors are thought to be responsible for at least one-quarter of the disease and death burden globally (Smith et al. 1999). We cannot be healthy without healthy environments. Throughout the world, environmental degradation is a major cause of poor health. In developing countries, lack of clean drinking water and hygiene leads to 1.7 million premature deaths from intestinal illness every year, mainly affecting children. Smoke-laden indoor air from traditional fuels – used by half of the world’s population – leads to 1.6 million deaths each year from respiratory disease. In developed and developing countries, outdoor air pollution from automobile exhaust and industry causes a further 800,000 respiratory-related deaths per year (WHO 2002). Poisoning from pesticides and other toxics in the environment causes over half a million deaths each year (Fewtrell et al. 2003; WHO 2003). Climate warming driven by greenhouse gas emissions is already causing 150,000 annual deaths from vector-borne disease and heat stress (McMichael et al. 2003).

Keywords

European Union Environmental Hazard World Wildlife Fund Advocacy Network Environmental Defense Fund 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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