As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction if the present trends continue; the food we eat, the water we drink will soon be contaminated enough with radioactive pollutants to pose a health hazard far greater than any plauge humanity has ever experienced.
Helen Caldicott, Nuclear Madness(1994)
Really, Helen? Really??? I wonder what the World Health Organisation has to say about that...
WHO on HIV/AIDS
|AIDS Deaths in 2009||Total||1.8 million|
|Children (<15 years)||260,000|
Source: WHO Global Summary of the AIDS epidemic 2009 http://www.who.int/hiv/data/2009_global_summary.png
WHO on Tobacco
Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death, killing more than 5 million people per year. Unless urgent action is taken to control the tobacco epidemic, the annual death toll could rise to 8 million by 2030, the report states. More than 80% of those premature deaths would occur in low- and middle-income countries – in other words, precisely where it is hardest to deflect and to bear such tremendous losses
Source: WHO press release for the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2009.
WHO on Air Pollution
- Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health and is estimated to cause approximately 2 million premature deaths worldwide per year.
- More than half of the burden from air pollution on human health is borne by people in developing countries. In many cities, the average annual levels of particulate matter (the main source of which is the burning of fossil fuels) exceed 70 micrograms per cubic metre. The guidelines say that, to prevent ill health, those levels should be lower than 20 micrograms per cubic metre.
Source: WHO Key Facts Air Quality and Health, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/index.html
WHO on … IONIZING RADIATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ionizing radiation has always been a part of the human environment. Along with natural radioactive sources present in the Earth’s crust and cosmic radiation, man-made sources also contribute to our continuous exposure to ionizing radiation.
Environmental radioactive pollution has resulted from past nuclear weapons testing, nuclear waste disposal, accidents at nuclear power plants, as well as from transportation, storage, loss, and misuse of radioactive sources. While there are risks associated with exposure to radiation, benefits of nuclear applications in medicine industry and science are well established. WHO’s radiation programme aims to assure that the benefits of radiation technology far exceeds any known risks.
WHO’s Ionizing Radiation Programme
The aim of the Radiation and Environmental Health Programme is to look for solutions to protect human health from ionizing radiation hazards by raising people’s awareness of the potential health risks associated with ionizing radiation, and the importance of its safe and rational management…we hope to enable national and local public health authorities to deal with radiation exposure issues effectively, facilitating key research programmes and providing sound advice
Source: WHO web page on Ionizing Radiation http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/en/
I can’t seem to find a suitably interesting image to represent “safe and rational management” or “facilitating key research programs and providing sound advice”.
You may have noticed I’m blowing off a bit of steam today by preaching to the probably converted. You’ll find out why in an upcoming post, but for now, forgive me. But maybe this would be useful food for thought for someone you know? If so, please pass it on.
Have a great weekend! Back to the Friday Funny next week, I promise 🙂