Children's Health and Environment: A Review of Evidence by Giorgio Tamburlini, Ondine S. Von Ehrenstein

By Giorgio Tamburlini, Ondine S. Von Ehrenstein

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Extra info for Children's Health and Environment: A Review of Evidence (Environmental Issue Reports)

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Children may become infected by a variety of microrganisms through contaminated drinking-water (see chapter on biological contamination of water). Radiation and electromagnetic fields Exposure to ionising radiation and ultraviolet light is another health hazard. While significant exposure to ionising radiation from radioactive fallout and medical diagnostic equipment (x-ray and radioisotopes) is limited to specific settings and circumstances, exposure to radon is quite common in private and public buildings and represents most of the background radiation.

In addition to fine particles, motor vehicle exhaust also produces CO and NO2, although higher levels of both these pollutants are more likely to be generated and found indoors. The primary sources of SO2 are coal-based power plants, smelters and paper mills. Other sulphur compounds such as sulphuric acid (H2S04) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) may be emitted by a variety of industrial processes, for example oil refining. Lead is an important air contaminant particularly where lead has not been phased out from gasoline.

Methyl mercury is then accumulated in fish and can be introduced into the food chain. Health effects are described in Chapter 4. Other water, food and soil contaminants which are often encountered are organic chemicals such as PCBs, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and various pesticides. Effects of PCBs and dioxins, which are very resistant to biological degradation and remain in the environment for decades, have been extensively investigated and are described in Chapter 4.

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