Tag Archives: chemicals

Air, Water, Waste and Death

UN Environment and WHO have agreed a new, wide-ranging collaboration to accelerate action to curb environmental health risks that cause an estimated 12.6 million deaths a year.

On January 10, 2018 in Nairobi, Mr Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, signed an agreement to step up joint actions to combat air pollution, climate change and antimicrobial resistance, as well as improve coordination on waste and chemicals management, water quality, and food and nutrition issues. The collaboration also includes joint management of the BreatheLife advocacy campaign to reduce air pollution for multiple climate, environment and health benefits

“Our health is directly related to the health of the environment we live in. Together, air, water and chemical hazards kill more than 12.6 million people a year. This must not continue,” said WHO’s Tedros.  He added: “Most of these deaths occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America where environmental pollution takes its biggest health toll.”

Excerpts from, UN Environment and WHO agree to major collaboration on environmental health risks, Press Release, Jan. 10, 2017

Democracy against Pollution, how to shutdown a polluting factory

Municipal leaders in a northeastern Chinese port city quickly announced plans to shut down a chemical plant on August 14, 2011 after thousands of protesters confronted riot police officers and demanded that it be closed because of safety concerns, state news media reported. The decision in the port city of Dalian, in Liaoning Province, represents an uncommonly rapid response by the authorities to public anger. Local officials elsewhere in China have typically avoided announcing decisions during demonstrations out of fear that it would only encourage more protests…..The chemical is widely known in China because protesters in Xiamen succeeded four years ago in persuading the municipal government there to move a planned paraxylene factory to a less densely populated area, in an early success for activists using cellphones and the Web to mobilize a community.

The chemical factory in Dalian sits just about 50 yards behind a sea wall. A tropical storm pushed ocean waves, some of them topping 60 feet, against the wall a week ago, breaching the barrier and raising worries that chemicals might leak from the factory. Panicked residents reportedly fled the area, only to return later and begin demanding the closing of the factory.

Xinhua, the state-run news agency, said Wednesday that Mayor Li Wancai of Dalian had announced that the sea wall had been repaired and that the chemical factory had not leaked, but would be relocated anyway. But Mr. Li gave no timetable then for the relocation.  The state-run China Central Television said the municipal government had decided Sunday afternoon {Aug. 14, 2011] to shut the factory down immediately.

The prompt announcement in Dalian may reflect the growing influence of the Internet. It has become much easier for people to communicate and to rally opposition to govment policies through the use of microblogging sites like Sina Weibo, although heavy censorship was imposed by Sunday evening[Aug. 14, 2011], with postings disappearing and some search terms related to the Dalian protest not working within China…The official newspaper China Daily reported Saturday that residents of Qianxi County in the southern province of Guizhou had injured “more than 10 police officers and security workers” and had smashed or set on fire 15 cars during a protest against urban inspectors.

KEITH BRADSHER, China Moves Swiftly to Close Chemical Plant After Protests, Reuters, Aug. 14, 2011