Tag Archives: air pollution

Toxic waste’s health impact in Asia similar to malaria’s

Toxic waste’s health impact in Asia similar to malaria’s |Source: Prime Sarmiento, SciDev Net, Aug 7, 2013|

Toxic waste is an under-recognised major global health burden comparable to outdoor air pollution and malaria, according to a study.

The paper says that people’s exposure to industrial pollutants such as lead, asbestos and chromium from toxic waste sites in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 2010 resulted in the loss of 829,000 years of good health due to serious diseases or early death.

Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

Waste collector Dinesh Mukherjee, 11, watches his friend jump over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi November 10, 2011. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

Such a health burden, the researchers say, is comparable to that caused by outdoor air pollution and malaria — both serious problems in developing countries in Asia. The WHO estimates that people living in India, Indonesia and the Philippines lose a total 1.45 million healthy years per year because of outdoor air pollution and 725,000 healthy years due to malaria.

The researchers sampled 373 sites in the three countries. They found that these sites endanger more than eight million people as their daily exposure to industrial pollutants puts them at risk of developing heart disease, cancer and anaemia. The toxic wastes mainly come from tanneries, mining firms and battery recycling plants.

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China, Fujian province: protesters kick up stink at Chinese sewage works

Protests drawing up to 10,000 people flared in eastern China over a powerful stench from a sewage treatment plant with 10 people hurt in clashes, residents and a human rights monitor said [on 1 September 2009].

The demonstration occurred Monday [31 August 2009] when angry villagers from Fujian province’s Fengwei town [Quanzhou city] confronted 2,000 riot police over a wastewater treatment plant that had fouled local air and water, Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said.

At least 10 people were injured […] the center said, [adding that] two police cars were smashed and protesters took several government officials and factory workers hostage.

A statement by the local Communist Party’s propaganda department acknowledged the protests, saying when workers prepared to enter the factory they were obstructed by villagers.

[A] report by the state-run Straits Metropolitan News […] also described the hostage-taking and clashes, but said only about 200 protesters were involved. “A small number of people took advantage of the situation to cause trouble, damaging and smashing equipment,” it said, citing information from the city government.

The wastewater treatment plant had a problem that sent a major stench through the area on Aug. 19 [2009], the statement said. Villagers protested over several days, but the biggest demonstration came [on 31 Aug. 2009]. One resident […] said the stench was unbearable. “People would puke or faint when they smell it.”

Mass protests over pollution and other environmental problems occur regularly throughout China.

Source: AP / Google News, 01 Sep 2009 ; AFP / Google News, 01 Sep 2009