Exposures to environmental pollution remain a major source of health risk throughout the world, though risks are generally higher in developing countries, where poverty, lack of investment in modern technology and weak environmental legislation combine to cause high pollution levels.
Exposures may occur via a range of pathways
Associations between environmental pollution and health outcome are, however, complex and often poorly characterized. Levels of exposure, for example, are often uncertain or unknown as a result of the lack of detailed monitoring and inevitable variations within any population group. Exposures may occur via a range of pathways and exposure processes.
Individual pollutants may be implicated in a wide range of health effects, whereas few diseases are directly attributable to single pollutants. Long latency times, the effects of cumulative exposures, and multiple exposures to different pollutants which might act synergistically all create difficulties in unravelling associations between environmental pollution and health.
Two words: Culture and Community. These are the key elements. We can reduce pollution as long as we understand that our land and our social relations are the most important factors