Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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health and pollution > features

Bhopal's sad anniversary

by Darryl d\'Monte

Twenty years ago, on the night of December 2, 1984, the world was shaken to hear of the world's worst industrial accident, when a terrible explosion poured toxic gas from the Union Carbide plant in the Indian city of Bhopal. Thousands were killed, and many thousands injured. Here, in an exclusive report, Darryl D'Monte says many still await proper compensation. ... more

Arsenic deaths spreading in India
Twenty-six years after arsenic contamination of water supplies was first detected in West Bengal, symptoms of the problem are being observed in more and more Indian states. Here Kimberlye Kowalczyk reports from Delhi on a pollution problem that is now affecting millions in the sub-continent. ... more

Kabul choking on air pollution
High levels of dust and fumes are choking Kabul, causing widespread health problems for the city's residents. Such is the seriousness of the problem that the Afghan government has started to take action to curb the country's pollution problem. Wahidullah Amani reports. ... more

Where there's muck there's hope

Waste is a life and death issue in many parts of the world. Poor sanitation and rubbish collection, along with a poor water supply, play a big part in the deaths of some 1.8 million people, mostly children, who die from diarrhoea each year. According to the World Health Organisation more than a third of these deaths could be avoided if sanitation was improved. Now a couple of English professors believe they have found a way to deliver low cost solutions. ... more

15 years later, Exxon Valdez oil spill lingers
by J.R. Pegg

In the immediate wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, company representatives made a promise to the communities of Prince William Sound. "If you can show that you have a loss as a result of this spill, we will compensate it," the company's top official in Alaska told residents from the fishing community of Cordova. "We will consider whatever it takes to make you whole. Put it on paper and bring it to the table." Fifteen years later, the town is still waiting, as J.R. Pegg reports. ... more

Arctic pollution � the human price

by Jackie Alan Giuliano

Most of us have heard about environmental pollutants entering our bodies, and it is becoming almost common knowledge that we all have some level of toxic substances in our blood, just from breathing the air. ... more

US leading world away from cigarettes
by Lester R. Brown

The United States�the country that gave the world tobacco�is now leading it away from cigarettes. After climbing for nearly a century, the number of cigarettes smoked per person in this country peaked at nearly 2,900 in 1976 and began to decline. By 2003 the figure had dropped to 1,545 cigarettes�a fall of 46 per cent. If this trend continues for another quarter-century, smokers will be a rarity in the United States, says Lester Brown. ... more

The true price of smoky stoves
In a recent editorial in the Indian magazine, Down to Earth, Sunita Narain explained the deadly price that Indian women often pay for cooking on traditional �chula� stoves � and what might be done about it. We reproduce her article here with permission. ... more

The threatened plague
by Paul Epstein

As an unknown pneumonia virus threatens to spread from Asia, experts warn that environmental and social changes are leading to the outbreak of new diseases and a resurgence of the old ones. In this special report Dr Paul Epstein, a leading expert in health and the global environment, reviews the evidence. ... more

The heavy cost of cars
Two recent reports have highlighted trends in car use and pollution in Europe and the United States. The first is from Z magazine. ... more

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