How plastic pollution increases health risks


Natalia Welzenbach-Marcus | May 14th, 2019

The onset of increasing plastic pollution is potentially devastating for developing countries, and could be a root cause for increased diseases.

When waste–especially plastic waste–is mismanaged, it is often poorer and developing countries that pay the heaviest price, as these nations don’t normally have the tools to track, mark down, or otherwise record the amount of waste disposed of within their borders.

Plastic pollution can block waterways, contributing to flooding, something that disrupts water purification plants and sewage systems and exposes the flooded population to water-born disease.

Occasionally, attempts will be made to deal with plastic by burning piles of it–something that releases toxins into the air and further contaminates the air and water.

Roughly two billion people still do not have regular ways of managing waste, and many nations’ poorest citizens often end up living by the slowly increasing piles of rubbish–an environment that doubles their risk of various diseases.

We need to continue our focus on the environment and on the damage done to our natural world. But it is equally important for us to understand how disproportionately affected our globe’s poorest citizens are by pollution.



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