Enquiry Question 3: What is the link between health risk and pollution? Aims: The link between pollution, economic development and health risk
How are pollution, economic development and health risks linked? Types and amounts of pollution vary with different levels of economic development: Earlier stages of development are primary industry led – agricultural and mining induced pollution Industrialisation leads to manufacturing and energy production and the development of transport; all of which are highly polluting. Many NICs are currently at this stage. MEDCs are undergoing deindustrialisation and their major polluting industries have moved to the NICs meaning that there is less pollution in MEDCs although transport is on the increase. The graph on the next slide clearly shows this pattern.
The Health and Enviromental Effects of Air Pollution The adverse health effects of exposure to air pollution are well documented. One World Bank study found that for every 30-μg/m3 increase in daily PM10 concentrations, symptoms of upper respiratory diseases increased by 9%. The observed increase was the same in highly exposed populations (who live or work near roads or industry) and less-exposed people who live in a more protected environment.
Although everyone is at risk from the health effects of air pollution, certain sub-populations are more susceptible. Individual reactions to air contaminants depend on several factors such as the type of pollutant, the degree of exposure and how much of the pollutant is present. Age and health are also important factors. The elderly and people suffering from cardio-respiratory problems such as asthma appear to be the most susceptible groups. Children and newborns are also sensitive to the health effects of air pollution since they take in more air than adults for their body weight and consequently, a higher level of pollutants. People who exercise outdoors on hot and smoggy days are also at greater risk due to their increased exposure to pollutants in the air.
Kuznet Curve Early stages of industrialisation: focus on rapid economic development NOT environment. Pollution is HIGH. At a certain standard of living ($2000-10000 p.a.), when pollution at a high, there is an attitude change. Environmental investment increases Read sheet: Economic Development and the Environment and PA P368-9 Inequality/pollution etc increases as a country develops until the turning point and then inequalities decrease
For the ERTM, ETM and DTM, overlay a Kuznet’s curve to show your understanding.
China <ul><li>Economic development in China has brought widespread pollution issues and associated health issues </li></ul><ul><li>The term “cancer village” has become common e.g. in Xiditou, SE of Beijing cancer is x30 the national average </li></ul><ul><li>Water and air contaminated by chemical factories and coal burning powerstations gets the most blame </li></ul>
NUMBER OF PEOPLE POTENTIALLY AFFECTED: 3,000,000 TYPE OF POLLUTANT: Coal and particulates SOURCE OF POLLUTION: Automobile and industrial emissions This soot-blackened city in China's inland Shanxi province makes Dickensian London look as pristine as a nature park. Shanxi is the heart of China's coal belt, and the hills around Linfen are dotted with mines, legal and illegal, and the air is filled with burning coal. Don't bother hanging your laundry — it'll turn black before it dries. China's State Environmental Protection Agency says that Linfen has the worst air in the country, which is saying something, considering that the World Bank has reported that 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are Chinese. One Linfen native summed up the city's plight to a TIME reporter last year: "This place of ours is no good." The Blacksmith Institute, 2007 Top 10 polluted cities Number 1 Linfen, China Of the top 10, 8 are in NICs http://www.time.com/time/
With weeks to go before the Olympics, readers sent their pictures of the skies in Beijing. On 11 July this was the view from one reader's apartment window in Zhong Guan Cun. www.bbc.co.uk
A satellite image showing a haze of pollution over part of China caused by the country's reliance on coal China pics from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2007/jul/18/china.pollution?picture=330216015
Benxi: Pollution from steel mills blows over residential buildings
Hohhot: Women wear masks as they cycle through the city
China’s Cancer Rivers <ul><li>Test on tap water in Xiditou found highly carcinogenic benzene at 50% higher than national safe limits </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese government admits that 300 million people drink polluted water from polluted rivers and groundwater </li></ul><ul><li>30 000 children die of diarrhoea & other water-borne illnesses each year </li></ul><ul><li>River Liao is most polluted followed by River Huai and waterways around Tianjin </li></ul>
Kunming, Yunnan province: Workers try to clear blue-green algae from Dianchi lake
Wuhan, Hebei province: A man collects dead fish in Donghu lake, where officials say an estimated 30,000kg of fish have been killed by a combination of pollution and hot weather
Lanzhou, Gansu province: A resident takes a water sample from the polluted Yellow river
Beijing: A worker clears rubbish from canal. Reports suggest that as many as 300 million Chinese people - nearly one in every four - drink dirty water
Comparing countries <ul><li>http://www.gapminder.org/videos/shanghai-new-york-mumbai/ </li></ul>
Economic development brings diseases of affluence to add to the mix! <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=753NmcboWBY </li></ul><ul><li>Read – “ Is our water being poisoned with a cocktail of drugs?” – which gives an example of how health risks can change with development in more advanced countries. You may never drink tap water again…..! </li></ul>