Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Pollution and Health

Note & News


Environmental degradation places human health at risk in many ways. Exposure to toxic chemicals and pollution is a direct cause of many illnesses (including cancer, lead poisoning, and damage to the nervous system). A major stumbling block in controlling risks from toxic chemicals is the lack of information about the toxicity of many of the chemicals now widely marketed in hundreds of products in the United States. We are working to ensure that at least basic data are publicly available for chemicals, particularly those in widespread use or to which children are exposed.


For the past sixty years, antibiotic drugs have turned bacterial infections into treatable conditions, rather than the life-threatening scourges they once were. Today, however, the effectiveness of many antibiotics is waning sharply, as bacteria increasingly develop resistance to these valuable drugs. A significant cause of antibiotic resistance is the widespread use of antibiotics in animal agriculture. An estimated 70% of the antibiotics used in the lace>United Stateslace> are used as feed additives for hogs, chickens and beef cattle - not to treat disease, but rather to promote faster growth and to compensate for stressful, unhygienic growing conditions. Environmental Defense seeks to restrict the routine feeding of antibiotics and other inappropriate uses of antibiotics in animal agriculture, to protect human health.

No comments: