This article appeared in BusinessGreen concerning a recent report on the effects of chemicals on human populations.
The failure of businesses and governments to adequately address the threats presented by hazardous chemicals is leading to over one million premature deaths a year and resulting in global economic losses that run to hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
Among a litany of shocking statistics, the report concludes poisoning from industrial and agricultural chemicals is among the top five leading causes of death worldwide, contributing to over one million deaths a year; between 2005 and 2020, the accumulated cost of illness and injury linked to pesticides in small-scale farming in sub-Saharan Africa could reach $90bn; three-quarters of eWaste produced in the EU each year is unaccounted for; and poor management of volatile organic compounds is responsible for global economic losses worth nearly $240bn.
The report calls for businesses and governments to work closer together to develop more effective chemicals policies and promote best practices, arguing that with only a fraction of the 140,000 chemicals estimated to be available on the global market having been subject to detailed independent evaluation it is businesses that have the most information on chemicals and their risks.
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