A Hazardous World July 29, 2007Posted by Mrs Weird Scientist in Diseases, Easy As Pie, Environment, Human Body, Nutrition and Health.
At a recent news briefing, Jenny Pronczuk from the World Health Organization (WHO) explained how 4 million children die each year from environmental hazards. Sound scary? It gets worse. That’s 4 million children under the age of five. These environmental hazards include unsanitary drinking water, air pollution and exposure to chemicals. The region where most diseases from environmental hazards occur is Africa, followed by areas of south east Asia.
These environmental hazards lead to all sorts of diseases and illnesses. Diarrhea and respiratory infections are common reactions to environmental hazards. Exposure to environmental hazards can also show up later, which means it’s not always an acute reaction. So, a child can be exposed to lead but the effects may not show up until the teen years, or even later. During the briefing, Pronczuk explained:
For example, if you look at lead exposure, the effect will be different if the child was exposed in utero (in the womb) because the lead of the mother goes into the bones of the child.
It’s shocking to actually see the number in print: 4 million. The effects of environmental hazards on a child’s development and health are equally shocking. One organization that looks at children and their health is the International Pediatric Association (IPA). By aiming for education, prevention and treatment in areas such as environmental hazards, they are focused on children all around the world. The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), based in the United States, does a lot of research and education on environmental hazards and also looks at ways to safeguard kids’ health. Most of their work is focused in the United States. The Canadian Institute of Child Health (CICH) focuses on all areas of child health, which includes exposure to environmental hazards; their research is international.
The National Safety Council has some cool word scrambles and crosswords to challenge your knowledge of environmental hazards. Give them a try and see how much you know!