The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned - B. F. Skinner
image by: 大杨
"No matter how carefully you eat or drink or watch your exposure to toxins, your body has chemicals in it that do not belong there and have the potential to make you ill, even fatally ill.
You didn't give anyone permission to experiment on you, it just happened to you. Chemicals have been spewing from smokestacks, sprayed on crops, dumped in your water, incorporated into your food, clothing and shelter. You've been exposed to large amounts mercury if you eat fish, you've breathed in asbestos from fabrics and building materials. You've ingested lead from paint. You have consumed Bisphenol-a since the 1950's or since you were a baby if you were born later. You probably have PCB's in the tissues of your body. If you eat meat, you are eating antibiotics meant for livestock. This is a particularly shoddy experiment since there is no control group, no hypothesis and the experimenters ignore the outcomes.
In spite of the fact that we have many laws on the books to protect us and federal and state regulators to enforce the laws, the sheer scale of pollution has overwhelmed us. We all pay the price for this with our health and our very lives.
For generations, environmentalists, health advocates and people with common sense have been fighting corporate interests to keep toxins out of our environment. Have we been successful? Well, we have managed to ban and regulate some of the worst poisons. In some cases we have only shifted the manufacturing and distribution channels off shore so that we primarily poison other people with those particular toxins. However, it's difficult to demonstrate any real big picture success against the tsunami of chemicals that we swim in every day.
Toxic pollution has no international boundaries. In China, a group of students shocked by the headlines about " toxic milk, tainted pork and beef and reused gutter oil" undertook a project to map toxic hot spots for food production. In Canada, environmentalists fight pollution in Lake Ontario and the massive threat of tar sands extraction fouling ecosystems. In Japan, radioactive particles from the massive failure of the Fukushima nuclear plants are being found in food and water. All over the United States, we transport out kids to school in diesel buses that spew carcinogens out of their tailpipes.
While we have seen this rapid acceleration of ever more toxic substances into our environment, we have experienced a corresponding increase in disease. Cancer rates continue to increase, although treatments have reduced the number of deaths. According to the World Health Organization's 2008 Cancer Report:
The rapid increase in the cancer burden represents a real crisis for public health and health systems worldwide. A major issue for many countries, even among high-resource countries, will be how to find sufficient funds to treat all cancer patients effectively and provide palliative, supportive and terminal care for the large numbers of patients, and their relatives, who will be diagnosed in the coming years.
The WHO warns of a possible 50% increase in cases of Cancer by 2020. The Scientific American suggests that soaring rates of autism are linked to our constant exposure to toxics. Again, we pay an enormous emotional, practical and financial price to deal with the increase in this disease.
Links correlating many other illnesses with toxic and radioactive exposure are many and powerful. Yet we continue to operate in a manner that all but ignores this fact. It is not from stupidity. We are smart enough as a species to understand the connection. It is more likely from a combination of greed, laziness and apathy that we continue to allow this to happen.
This is not a problem that can be solved in a year. No governmental body can pass a regulation or set of regulations that will fix this quickly. The hard work of reducing exposure to toxins from our environment will occur over decades and centuries. It will take a massive shift in our thinking about the rights and responsibilities of corporations and the role of our governments, local, national and global, in protecting the commons and prioritizing human health over things like the cost of production.
The fact that this problem is so massive is no excuse to give up. It is a reason to get active. Progress in reigning in the power of corporations to poison the entire population of the world will bring with it many collateral benefits. It's an enormous cultural shift and requires dis-empowering the most powerful entities in the world. But if we don't wish our descendants to live in a world riddled by disease, genetic damage and drastically shortened life spans, we need to begin now. As we fight the important battle against climate change, we must not lose sight of the urgent need to support organizations that fight the battles against toxic exposure and unbridled corporate power."
Source: John DeCock, Excerpt from The Great Global Poisoning Experiment, Huff Post, September 14, 2011.
Drones to Map Out Worldwide Plastic Pollution
It is well known that plastic pollution is riddling our oceans and threatening various marine life, so now scientists are using drones to map out this debris and better understand how to deal with the problem.
Global Alliance to Fight Toxic Pollution
A global alliance to protect the world’s people from toxic lead, chromium, mercury, pesticides and other pollution has been formed by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, U.N. agencies, donor countries, foundations and non-government experts...
The Global Alliance for Health and Pollution (GAHP) aims to work together to protect the health of over one hundred million people in poor countries who are at risk from toxic pollution.
Pollution From Home Stoves Kills Millions Of People Worldwide
Air pollution has become the world's largest environmental risk, killing an estimated 7 million people in 2012, the World Health Organization says.
That means about 1 out of every 8 deaths in the world each year is due to air pollution. And half of those deaths are caused by household stoves, according to the WHO report published Tuesday.
Pollution Killed 7 Million People Worldwide in 2012, Report Finds
From taxi tailpipes in Paris to dung-fired stoves in New Delhi, air pollution claimed seven million lives around the world in 2012, according to figures released Tuesday by the World Health Organization. More than one-third of those deaths, the organization said, occurred in fast-developing nations of Asia, where rates of cardiovascular and pulmonary disease have been soaring.
The Great Global Poisoning Experiment
If you are alive in 2011, no matter what your age, you have been part of one of the largest and worst experiments in history. No matter how carefully you eat or drink or watch your exposure to toxins, your body has chemicals in it that do not belong there and have the potential to make you ill, even fatally ill.
U.S. driving worldwide fossil-fuel use and pollution
Despite our claims of environmental responsibility, the United States is — by virtue of its petroleum and natural gas bonanza, and the export thereof — increasing dramatically the world’s fossil-fuel usage.
Unfortunately, for this planet, the life it supports, and its future ability to do so, the prosperity of one species on Earth seems to depend on that species’ indulging in activities that degrade most other species, the sustainability of life on Earth, and the future of that species itself.
10 worst pollution problems in the world
Pollution and disease go hand in hand. In fact, about 40 percent of deaths around the world can be attributed to air, water and soil pollution. The Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland ranked the planet's most severe pollution threats and the health problems associated with them.
Clean Air World
Clean Air World is the global outreach and information portal of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA, formerly STAPPA/ALAPCO). While NACAA concentrates primarily on air quality issues in the United States, Clean Air World has an international focus with regard to air pollution topics.
Climate & Clean Air Coalition
The Coalition's initial focus is on methane, black carbon, and HFCs. At the same time, partners recognize that action on short-lived climate pollutants must complement and supplement, not replace, global action to reduce carbon dioxide, in particular efforts under the UNFCCC.
Global Alliance on Health and Pollution
The vision of the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) is a world where the health of present and future generations, especially children and pregnant women, is safe from toxic pollution.
Globe at Night
The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health.
Implementing Keep America Beautiful's Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is mostly about bringing together like-minded community members that can rally behind the issue. From there, it's a matter of organizing around simple strategies that have proven to be effective in reducing cigarette litter.
Cleaning up one community at a time brings us closer to a Pure Earth.
Through research and outreach that inspire action, the Worldwatch Institute works to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world that meets human needs. The Institute’s top mission objectives are universal access to renewable energy and nutritious food, expansion of environmentally sound jobs and development, transformation of cultures from consumerism to sustainability, and an early end to population growth through healthy and intentional childbearing.
Pollution may muddy landscapes, poison soils and waterways, or kill plants and animals. Humans are also regularly harmed by pollution. Long-term exposure to air pollution, for example, can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer and other diseases. Toxic chemicals that accumulate in top predators can make some species unsafe to eat. More than one billion people lack access to clean water and 2.4 billion don’t have adequate sanitation, putting them at risk of contracting deadly diseases.
The “World’s Worst” series of reports has effectively raised global awareness about the extent and impacts of toxic pollution in low-and middle-income countries.