Enviro Problems Cause One-Third of Child Deaths in Europe

Environmental hazards are responsible for a third of all child deaths — some 100,000 a year — in the 52 countries of the European region, according to a new study. Published by World Health Organization researchers in the medical journal The Lancet, the study audited the effects of five environmental risk factors on young people up to age 20: outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution, poor sanitation, lead contamination, and injuries. In the wealthier countries of Western Europe, traffic accidents were the big killer (and suicide rates were higher). In the central Asian republics and Turkey, burning coal and wood indoors without proper ventilation kills children, while poor Eastern European kids suffer from inadequate sanitation and unsafe water. European governments meeting at an environmental conference in Budapest, Hungary, starting on June 22, will use the study to agree on priorities and a plan of action.