Chemicals cause nearly 5 million deaths per year

Chemicals cause nearly 5 million deaths per year

The chemicals cause 4.9 million deaths a year worldwide and it is urgent to regulate their production, use and disposal, requested the United Nations Program for Environment (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

These organizations claim that the production and use of chemicals are a growing problem that will increase dramatically in the next decade.

It is expected that by 2050 the production of chemicals to grow 3% on average, especially in developing countries, where precautions are much lower than in industrialized countries.

By region, between 2012 and 2020 is expected to Africa and Middle East increase their production by 40% and Latin America 33%.

“The 4.9 million deaths a year are only the tip of the iceberg. It could be avoided by better management applied” in a press conference said Maria Neira, Director of Public Health and Environment of WHO.

Neira also said the UN health agency estimated that 9% of cases of lung cancer “can be attributed to exposure to chemicals.”

“The chemicals are increasingly present in our daily lives and have a very high cost to our health and to the environment,” said Sylvie Lemmet, technology division director, Industry and Economics.

In the world there are 143,000 chemicals registered, but it is estimated that “only a fraction of those actually exist,” confessed Lemmet, introducing the “Vision Global Chemicals”.

This study shows, for example, that contributed to the financial burden sub-Saharan countries to deal with the problems of chemical pollution, is greater than the investment to prevent AIDS.

Other real examples show how in Ecuador about drinking water villages near oil extraction plant contains petroleum hydrocarbon levels 288 times the accepted standards of the European Union.

“The rational use of chemicals can reduce the huge financial implications and improve public health and ecosystems”, advocated Lemmet, whose organization claims that countries act to regulate the sector.


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