Nutrition Publication

Environmental Health Hazards in Childhood

Editor(s): International Committee of Paediatricians. 62 / 2

Foodborne Hazards in Children Waterborne Hazards in Children Airborne Hazards in Children Child Health and Exposure to Persistent Organic Chlorines This publication is not available online yet. You can buy it on the Karger website

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Contents

Author(s): Editorial Committee

Foodborne Hazards in Children Waterborne Hazards in Children Airborne Hazards in Children Child Health and Exposure to Persistent Organic Chlorines This publication is not available online yet. You can buy it on the Karger website

Editorial

Author(s): Editorial Committee

Foodborne Hazards in Children Waterborne Hazards in Children Airborne Hazards in Children Child Health and Exposure to Persistent Organic Chlorines This publication is not available online yet. You can buy it on the Karger website

Foodborne Hazards in Children

Author(s): D.B. Mahoney

Although food safety has long been of inte rest to the public health community, its actual impact on morbidity and mortality is difficult to quantify, and the value of simple interventions has not always been appreciated fully. A nutritionally adequate food supply is essential for health, but it must not endanger consumer health because of the presence of biological or chemical hazards.The epidemiological link between contaminated food and infant diarrhoea has long been recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) [1], yet it has only been in the last few years that tactical action has been taken to address the problem.  Attempts to make food safety a public health priority were given prominence in December 1992 when the InternationalConference on Nutrition in Rome adopted the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition and recognised that “... access to nutritionally adequate and safe food is a right of each individual” [2]. However, it was not until 2000 that the 53rd Word Health Assembly adopted a resolution on food safety [3]. This resolution affirmed food safety as an essential public health priority, and committed WHO and its Member States to become involved in a range of multisectorial and multidisciplinary actions to promote the safety of food at the local, national and international levels.

Waterborne Hazards in Children

Author(s): T. Kistemann

Water has a central role in societies. Historically, health, ealth and economic development always greatly have benefited from effective management of water supplies. Antiquity recognised the need for reliable supplies of safe water for human needs. Over the centuries, proper management of the vital resource of water has led always to developments and improvements in health. Effectively managed water supplies and resource-protection systems generated indispensable bases for agricultural and industrialproduction. Urban and rural development has thrived where water sources have been managed effectively.In many growing European cities, this process started as early as the 15th and 16th centuries. Particularly in the 19th century, water was a central preoccupation of state and industrial leaders. As a consequence of safer and bettermanaged water systems, farming and industrial development expanded, food supplies increased and became more reliable and healthy, a number of major diseases no longer posed se rious threats to health, life expectancy increased substantially, and particularly infant mortality decreased dramatically. Industrial development also depended on safe, reliable and well managed water supplies. Safe water has been demonstrated to be the single most effective investment in economic and social development. No other part of socioeconomic development has continued to be as incredibly cost-effective in relation to the wealth created. Over a wide range of income distributions, rich and poor countries alike have to invest less than 1 percent of the average income to ensure excellent water supplies and resource management [1].The reasons for concern over the world’s water resources and their health impact on children can be summarised within three key areas: water scarcity, water quality and waterrelated disasters [2].

Airborne Hazards in Children

Author(s): X-M. Shen

Air pollution presently impedes the development of the world’s economy and threatens human health. Some airborne hazardous substances are natural, becoming toxicants wheninhaled or ingested, but many toxicants are man-made, resulting from human abuse and lack of appropriate control. In the last century, over 80,000 chemicals have been produced and emitted into the air. Available evidence links mercury vapor, lead, tobacco smoke and other air pollutants to adverse health effects, such as neurodevelopmental disorders, respiratory and cardiovascular dysfunctions, endocrine disruptions, reproductive problems and cancer [1].

Child Health and Exposure to Persistent Organic Chlorines

Author(s): R. Zetterstöm

The number of chemicals that are used in daily life is increasing at an exponential rate and are estimated to be about 50,000 with a total weight of 7 billion kg per year. Many are found in water and soil, and may act as pollutants that are hazardous to human health, and particularly to foetuses and young children. Among all these compounds, heavy metals, arsenic, phosphorus, sulfer dioxide, aflatoxines, radionuclides, tobacco smoke, and freon and other halogenated organic compounds, each are of concern.Polychlorinated organic compounds are known to be particularly dangerous because of their highly toxic effects. Among them, di oxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are by-products in numerous industrial processes. Processes involving combustion are of major importance in this regard. Other compounds that are used in agriculture or forestry, such as the pesticides DDT, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and herbicides also are of concern. Each of all these lipophiliccompounds is persistent in nature and may enter the food chain and thus threathen human and animal health. After having been stored in human adipose tissues, each may cause serious consequences when released. At the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic compounds(POCs) in 2001, twelve were referred to as “the dirty dozen” because of their serious adverse effects on human well being.