"The potential cost of pesticide-related illnesses in sub-Saharan African between 2005 and 2020 could reach $90 billion, according to a U.N. report [.pdf] released on Wednesday highlighting the growing health and environmental hazards from chemicals," the Associated Press/Guardian reports. The news service adds, "It said the estimated cost of pesticide poisoning exceeds the total amount of international aid for basic health services for the region, excluding HIV/AIDS" (9/6). "Produced by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Chemicals Outlook report argues that a shift in the production, use and disposal of chemical products from developed to developing countries has made it essential to establish better management policies to avoid diseases and pollution caused by weak regulations," the U.N. News Centre writes (9/5).
"Poisonings from industrial and agricultural chemicals are among the top five leading causes of death worldwide, contributing to more than a million deaths every year, UNEP said in a statement of its Global Chemicals Outlook," Reuters notes (Doyle, 9/5). "Pollution and disease related to the unsustainable use, production and disposal of chemicals can, in fact, hinder progress towards key development targets by affecting water supplies, food security, well-being or worker productivity," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, according to the AP (9/6).