-- The snail-borne disease schistosomiasis,causes an estimated 1 million deaths annually and is expanding its range as human activities provide more suitable habitats in contaminated fresh water. Following construction in 1968 of Egypt's Aswan High Dam and associated irrigation systems, prevalence of the Schistosoma mansoni organism in humans in the region increased from
5 percent to 77 percent.
-- Of the 80,000 pesticides and other chemicals in use today, 10 percent are recognized as carcinogens. Cancer-related deaths in the United States increased from 331,000 in 1970 to 521,000 in 1992, with as estimated 30,000 deaths attributed to chemical exposure.
-- Smoke from indoor cooking fires that burn fuelwood and dung is estimated to cause the death of 4 million children each year worldwide.
-- Lack of sanitary conditions contributes each year to approximately 2 billion diarrhea infections and 4 million deaths, mostly among infants and young children in developing countries. In the United States, inadequate sanitation accounts for 940,000 diarrhea infections and about 900 deaths each year.
-- Dengue fever, spread by mosquitoes that breed in old tires and other water-holding junk in crowded urban environments, infects an additional 30 million to 60 million people each year.
-- Less than 1 percent of 500 Chinese cities have clean air. Respiratory disease is the leading cause of death in China.
-- In China, where tobacco smoking increased from approximately 360 to nearly 1,800 cigarettes per person per year, males smoke 98 percent of the cigarettes. However, mortality due to lung cancer is approximately equal in males and females.
-- Although the use of lead in U.S. gasoline declined since 1985, other sources inject about
2 billion kilograms of lead into the atmosphere in this country each year. An estimated 1.7 million children in the United States have unacceptably
Contact: Roger Segelken
Cornell University News Service