Top Ten Things You Might Not Know About Pollution

Pollution is a topic that often gets buried by talk of conservation, climate change, sustainability and energy issues.  Perhaps because it is a complex subject with lots of sources and lots of effects.  While all the above issues are important, let’s give pollution some of the talk time it deserves.

Think you know about pollution?  Read on:

Top Ten Things You Might Not Know About Pollution

1) Pollution is one of the biggest global killers, affecting over 100 million people.

It is comparable in population and risk to human health to problems like malaria and HIV.

2) Pollution is one global problem that can be solved in our lifetime

Life-threatening pollution has already been eliminated in much of the developed world through initiatives like the U.S.’s Superfund. The technology and know-how to clean up toxic pollution already exists. All that’s needed is resources and commitment.

3) There is a finite number of polluted sites in the world

While the number of polluted hotspots may increase, it is a finite figure. Currently, Blacksmith Institute’s database of polluted sites lists over 2000 of the world’s worst polluted places. Blacksmith is working to prioritize these sites for cleanup targeting the communities with the most at-risk populations.

4) Pollution solutions are relatively low-cost

The cost to save a human life through the removal of hazardous pollution on Blacksmith projects can be as little as $42. $20,000 is enough to start a project that saves lives.

5) Children are most susceptible to Pollution

While children only make up 10% of the world’s population, over 40% of the global burden of disease falls on them. More than three million children under age five die annually from environmental factors.

6) Pollution is mainly caused by small-scale informal operations rather than large multi-national companies

However, demand for consumer goods from high-income countries still drive pollution activities in low-income countries.

7) Pollution does not stop even when the source of the pollution is removed

For example when polluting factories are closed, legacy pollution remains. If it is not removed, legacy pollution continues to sicken and kill.

8 ) Pollution can vastly lower life expectancy

In some of the world’s worst polluted places life expectancy can be as low as as 45 years because of lung, throat and thyroid cancers.

9) Death is not the only end result

Pollution causes chronic illness, neurological damage and a range of diseases that might not kill but might incapacitate a person or result in irreversible damage. For instance, the presence of lead in children lowers I.Q. by an estimated 4-7 points for each increase of 10 μg/dL.

10) Pollution affects everyone

While pollution affects the immediate population the most, its effects are felt far and wide because of the globalized economy. In addition, some pollutants like mercury travels and drops into rivers and seas worldwide, poisoning the seafood supply.

Read my earlier post:  What is Pollution?

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5 Responses to Top Ten Things You Might Not Know About Pollution

  1. habtamu says:

    really its similar like HIV we can work more
    specially in Africa God bless u.
    i have got many information when i browse ur web site
    we remain money works under this critical path
    any was 10Q.

  2. Saba says:

    Pollution does affect every single person. But I think that people need to understand that you don’t have to do something tremendous to stop pollution. For instance, try to use public transportation more often, rather than using your car to go EVERYWHERE you need to. Furthermore, pollution just causes illnesses for people. If we keep polluting our air like we are now, our future will consist of smokey, dirty air that will make it difficult for all of us to breathe; we will die slowly and painfully. We need to all unite as one force of humanity and solve this issue, so we can live in a peaceful and clean environment in our future.

  3. Saba says:

    Saba :

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Pollution does affect every single person. But I think that people need to understand that you don’t have to do something tremendous to stop pollution. For instance, try to use public transportation more often, rather than using your car to go EVERYWHERE you need to. Furthermore, pollution just causes illnesses for people. If we keep polluting our air like we are now, our future will consist of smokey, dirty air that will make it difficult for all of us to breathe; we will die slowly and painfully. We need to all unite as one force of humanity and solve this issue, so we can live in a peaceful and clean environment in our future.

    Type your comment here

  4. Saba says:

    Pollution does affect every single person . But I think that people need to understand that you don’t have to do something tremendous to reduce pollution. For instance, try to use public transportation more often, rather than using your car to go EVERYWHERE you need to go. Furthermore, pollution just causes illnesses for people. If we keep polluting our air like we are now, our future will consist of smokey, dirty air that will make it difficult for all of us to breathe; we will die slowly and painfully. We all need to unite as a force of humanity and solve this global issue, so we can live in a peaceful and clean environment in our future.

  5. Ranami says:

    Interesting! I didn’t know pollution could lower a child’s IQ. Thanks for this post.

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