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Childhood Environmental Diseases

Decent Essays
Overall child mortality declined significantly in the 1990s, but environmental hazards still kill at least 3 million children under age 5 every year (Creel, 2002). Due to their size, physiology, and behavior, children are more vulnerable than adults to environmental hazards. Children are more heavily exposed to toxins in proportion to their body weight, and have more years of life ahead of them in which they may suffer long-term effects from early exposure. Contaminated water is the cause of many life-threatening diseases including diarrhea, the second biggest child-killer in the world. Diarrhea is estimated to cause 1.3 million child deaths per year. Water contamination can spread diseases such as hepatitis B, dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever. High levels of arsenic, lead or fluoride may lead to both acute and chronic diseases in children. The subclinical toxicity of lead in children has subsequently been confirmed in prospective epidemiological studies Similar subclinical neurotoxic effects have been documented in children exposed in the womb to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and to methylmercury (Creel, 2002).…show more content…
Around 2 million children under five die every year from acute respiratory infections (ARI) aggravated by environmental hazards (Creel, 2002). Indoor air pollution is a major causal factor for ARI deaths in rural and urban areas of developing countries. Outdoor air pollution, mainly from traffic and industrial processes, remains a serious problem in cities throughout the world, particularly in the ever-expanding megacities of developing countries. A major problem is the continuing use of lead in petrol. It is estimated that a quarter of the world’s population is exposed to unhealthy concentrations of air pollutants such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and other
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