Pollution is the leading cause of premature deaths around the world, contributing to an estimated one in seven, according to the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution. Most of these deaths occur in emerging nations where byproducts of unregulated mining and industrial waste disposal—contaminate air, water, soil and ultimately food.
The worst pollutants—lead, mercury, cadmium radium and radioactive isoptopes, chromium and pesticides—affect tens of millions of people and are major drivers of chronic diseases and cancers that cut lives short by decades. Air pollution from vehicle exhaust and coal-fired power plants affects millions more in the most congested cities of China, India and Eastern Europe, while indoor charcoal cooking fires are silently killing the poorest of the poor in Africa.
In this project, Larry C. Price and Richard Paddock focus on the major pollutants and the most polluted sites in the world to explore the causes, consequences, and the search for possible solutions.