To most people, the health care system is synonymous with healing. But it is also a major source of health-damaging pollution. Every day, U.S. hospitals create nearly 7,000 tons of solid waste, like my gloves and the plastic wrapping around the tools and medicines my team used for our asthma patient. As Matt Eckelman and Jodi Sherman wrote in PLOS One, health care accounts for 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., 10 percent of smog formation, and 9 percent of other harmful air pollutants.
Eliminating single-use plastic products has become a cause célèbre over the past few years, but some in the environmental community complain it's a distraction from the bigger issues. Here's why they're wrong.
There seems to be no end to the ways fossil fuels can harm us.
One argument for rolling back environmental regulations — as is occurring under the Trump administration — is that a lighter touch on industry will lift investment and economic growth.
But increased pollution can also have long-term negative economic consequences. The effects on health are bad enough on their own, and are well understood.
“Anthropocene” is a term coined by Nobel-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen in 2000 to describe what he and some other scientists consider a new era in world history, an epoch beginning with the Industrial Revolution and characterized by mankind’s permanent alteration of the natural world.
Pollution has existed as long as humans have. Early hunters and gatherers discharged bones and stones after a meal. In antiquity, the garbage of large cities was disposed of in landfills outside the city limits. With the industrial revolution, the invention of plastic in 1907 and mass production of goods, today's piles of trash grow exponentially. Today, there is plastic in the oceans, landfills full of rubbish and even the Moon's surface is covered by plastic litter, like golf balls (from the Apollo 14 mission in 1971) and disposable bags.
Humanity has a trash problem - and climate change could make things worse.
The most comprehensive report to date on the health effects of environmental pollution shows that filthy air, contaminated water and other polluted parts of our environment kill more people worldwide each year than almost everything else combined – smoking, hunger, natural disasters, war, murder, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
As valuable as they can be, recycling and clean-ups are not the answer. Source reduction is the key to sparing the environment—including ourselves—from further plastic poisoning. Enter the Plastic Pollution Coalition to get that message into our thick heads.
Cigarette butts are the most littered item on the planet. We do it or see it happening every day. Why do we act as if this is okay?
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.
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 affects the health of people in all nations, but 92% of deaths linked to this environmental killer occur in middle and low-income countries. In America and around the world, diseases associated with pollution disproportionately affect the poor and the marginalized.
Many different factors can affect your heart health, from race to diet to alcohol consumption. New research suggests living near busy roads can also have negative consequences. A new study, published in European Heart Journal, links long-term exposure to both traffic noise and air pollution to a higher risk of heart disease.
While global mercury emissions are on the rise, negotiators, unfortunately, appear to be leaning towards a treaty with soft measures unlikely to prevent continued catastrophic impacts from this deadly and debilitating poison.
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.
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.
Those studies observed populations exposed to pollutants and compared them to people not exposed. The studies have shown that pollution can be an important cause of diseases — many of them potentially fatal — including asthma, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects in children, heart disease, stroke and lung disease.
We Are Literally Polluting Ourselves To Death, And It's Only Getting Worse.
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.
From the residue of mining to untreated sewage, the world is grappling with a host of environmental problems.
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.
Cleaning up one community at a time brings us closer to a Pure Earth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.