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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Making the link between pollution and health

Public concern about the health effects of pollution is gradually becoming a major political issue in Canada.

Famous Canadian environmentalist / scientist / reporter David Suzuki (right) delivered a lecture on Tuesday this week at the Canadian Public Health Association conference in Ottawa entitled "Our environment is our health."

On the same day, the David Suzuki Foundation released a report, "," calling for broad reform of Canadian environmental-protection legislation in order to prevent disease. (Read the full report , as a PDF.) Here's an overview of the report:

Unlike nearly every other industrialized country, Canada has no coordinated environmental health strategy. As a result, Canada's current patchwork approach to the most serious environmental hazards threatens the health and well-being of every Canadian [...]

"The good news is that we can prevent the majority of the adverse environmental effects on our health, but we require an all-encompassing effort from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments to catch up and solve these problems," [report author and environmental lawyer David Boyd] says.

Currently, many Canadian health and environment laws and policies are weaker than corresponding laws in other nations. For example:
  • Canada does not have legally binding national standards for air quality and drinking water quality;
  • Canada permits the use of pesticides that other countries have banned for health and environmental reasons;
  • Compared to other nations, Canada allows higher levels of pesticide residues on our food;
  • Canada has completely failed to regulate some toxic substances such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), phthalates, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); and,
  • Canada has weaker regulations for toxic substances such as radon, lead, mercury, arsenic, and asbestos.
And it's not just David Suzuki who's onto this. In New Brunswick, where the is , a to investigate the relationship between proximity to industrial/pesticide pollution and asthma, allergies, neuro-developmental disorders, cancer and endocrine-related disorders. Another community in the province, Grand Lake, is of an insufficient response to unhealthy pollution.

, released around the time of the group's August annual meeting, showed 27% of Canadians say they have an illness that is attributable to environmental degradation.

Photo: Al Harvey, /

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1 comment:

  1. This is very great thing you have shared with us. Now I found enough resources by your tips about this issue, Thank you.

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