"...the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that around one million people in the Western Pacific region die each year from environmental health risks and this number will increase if effective countermeasures are not implemented.
The WHO said 580,000 of these deaths are attributable to "traditional" risk factors such as indoor smoke from solid fuels; unsafe water; and inadequate sanitation and hygiene.
Modern risks are responsible for another 405,000 deaths, 96 percent of which occur in the region’s developing countries. The WHO said these modern risks include urban air pollution, exposure to lead and other pollutants, industrial accidents and effects of climate change.
WHO representative for the Western Pacific Dr. Shigeru Omi said WHO member countries need to strengthen human resources and institutional capacity for environmental health risk assessment and management.
He said this concern was raised during the 56th session of the WHO regional committee for the Western Pacific. The meeting, attended by 100 representatives from various countries, discussed future health directions in the region.
Though there are international agreements to reduce environmental health risks, the committee underscored the need to develop "more systematic approaches to assessing and reducing" these risks.
The members of the committee agreed that multi-country efforts are required to address the problem since water, air and coastal pollution are transnational concerns."
It's a go!