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How Developing Nations Can Protect Children From Hazardous Chemical Exposures While Sustaining Economic Growth

Trasande, Leonardo
Massey, Rachel I.
DiGangi, Joseph
Geiser, Kenneth
Olanipekun, Abiola Ifueko
Published in Health Affairs. 2011, vol. 30, no. 12, p. 2400-2409
Abstract Increasing worldwide use of chemicals, including heavy metals used in industry and pesticides used in agriculture, may produce increases in chronic diseases in children unless steps are taken to manage the production, use, trade, and disposal of chemicals. In 2020 the developing world will account for 33 percent of global chemical demand and 31 percent of production, compared with 23 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in 1995. We describe present and potential costs of environmental exposures and discuss policy options to protect future generations of children in a sustainable development context. Specifically, we describe the principles of sound chemicals management, as follows: precaution, or the use of cost-effective measures to prevent potentially hazardous exposures before scientific understanding is complete; the right to know, or informing the public—especially vulnerable groups—in a timely fashion about the safe use of chemicals and any releases of chemicals into the environment; pollution prevention, or preventing the use of hazardous chemicals and the production of pollutants, rather than focusing on managing wastes; internalization of environmental and health costs, or ensuring that the consequences of exposures are reflected in the price of chemicals through such approaches as “polluter pays”; and use of best available scientific information in making decisions such as what chemicals to allow into the market. We recommend that industrializing nations in particular employ these principles to prevent disease among their populations while at the same time minimizing the risk to their own economic development.
Keywords Costs of environmental exposuresSound management of chemicals and wasteChildren's health
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Research group Pôle/Institut Gouvernance de l'environnement et développement territorial (PI-GEDT)
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TRASANDE, Leonardo et al. How Developing Nations Can Protect Children From Hazardous Chemical Exposures While Sustaining Economic Growth. In: Health Affairs, 2011, vol. 30, n° 12, p. 2400-2409. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.1217

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Deposited on : 2019-04-04

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