Breathing poison

Published: Thursday 15 October 1998

-- Environment is degrading rapidly in the third world. Air pollution from industrial activity, vehicular emissions and burning of fossil fuels claims more than 2.7 million lives every year, as it results in respiratory diseases and cancer. According to the Human Development Report, 1998, more than 90 per cent of these deaths take place in the developing world. Of this, more than 80 per cent are due to indoor air pollution and more than two-thirds in rural areas. Outdoor air pollution is growing rapidly in the developing world. To make matters worse rapid soil degradation is severest in Asia and Africa and more than a third of the world's forests have vanished.

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