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Pesticides and harmful chemicals cause more than 900,000 deaths annually

In Africa consequences of the use of pesticides constitute third largest health cost after HIV/AIDS and malaria

18.10.2012 |




ICCM and SAICM global negotiations in Nairobi

The new UNEP Global Chemicals Outlook brings us devastating news on the death and sickness caused by imports of harmful chemicals and pesticides to developing countries, 964,000 people die and 20,986,153 people have damage from pesticides and chemicals, mostly in developing countries.

Many of these chemicals are produced in the North, in the USA or Europe, - many of these pesticides and chemicals have been forbidden in the North -- but continue to be exported to developing countries.

Even at the last ICCM and SAICM global negotiations in Nairobi, where WECF took part with a delegation of member organisations, governments could not agree to ban the 7 most harmful pesticides.

The estimated costs of poisonings from pesticides in sub-Saharan Africa now exceeds the total annual overseas development aid given to the region for basic health services, excluding HIV/AIDS. Between 2005 and 2020, the accumulated cost of illness and injury linked to pesticides in small scale farming in sub-Saharan Africa could reach USD $90 billion. 

Estimates for selected chemicals (including pesticides) involved in unintentional acute and occupational poisonings, a limited number of occupational carcinogens and particulates and lead, correspond to a total of 964,000 deaths and 20,986,153 DALYs, corresponding to 1.6% of the total deaths and 1.4% of the total burden of disease worldwide. To compare, among the global top ten leading causes of death in 2004, HIV/AIDS caused 2 million deaths, tuberculosis caused 1.5 million deaths, road traffic accidents caused 1.27 million deaths, and malaria caused 0.9 million deaths (WHO, 2008).

Please read the article published by SustainLabour for more information:

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