oEmissions of carbon and of nitrogen oxides and municipal wastes are current examples. oIn these cases abatement is relatively expensive and the costs associated with the emissions and wastes are not yet perceived as high-often because they are borne by someone else. 24.3Some environmental degradation problems and their link to development a)Clean Water and Sanitation oFor the 1 billion people in developing countries who do not have access to clean water and the 1.7 billion who lack access to sanitation, these are the most important environmental problems of all. oTheir effects on health are shocking: they are major contributors to the 900 million cases of diarrheal diseases every year, which cause the deaths of more than 3 million children; 2 million of these deaths could be prevented if adequate sanitation and clean water were available. oAt any time 200 million are suffering from schistosomiasis or bilharzia and 900 million from hookworm.
Page 35 of 39 oCholera, typhoid, and paratyphoid also continue to wreak havoc with human welfare. oProviding access to sanitation and clean water would not eradicate all these diseases, but it would be the single most effective means of alleviating human distress. oThe economic costs of inadequate provision are also high. oMany women in Africa spend more than two hours a day fetching water. oIn Jakarta an mount equivalent to 1 percent of the city's gross domestic product (GDP) is spent each year on boiling water, and in Bangkok, Mexico City, and Jakarta excessive pumping of groundwater has led to subsidence, structural damage, and flooding. b)Clean Air oEmissions from industry and transport and from domestic energy consumption impose serious costs for health and productivity. oThree specific problems stand out for their effect on human suffering. ▪Suspended particulate matter In the second half of the 1980s about 1.3 billion people worldwide lived in urban areas that did not meet the standards for particulate matter (airborne dust and smoke) set by the WHO ▪Lead High levels of lead, primarily from vehicle emissions, have been identified as the greatest environmental danger in a number of large cities in the developing world. Estimates for Bangkok suggest that the average child has lost four or more IQ points by the age of seven because of elevated exposure to lead, with enduring implications for adult productivity ▪Indoor air pollution For hundreds of millions of the world's poorer citizens, smoke and fumes from indoor use of biomass fuel (such as wood, straw, and dung) pose much greater health risks than any outdoor pollution. Women and children suffer most from this form of pollution, and its effects on health are often equivalent to those of smoking several packs of cigarettes a day. c)Soil Water and agricultural productivity oThe loss of productive potential in rural areas is a more widespread and important problem, although less dramatic, than that evoked by images of advancing deserts.
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