Solve pollution. Save lives. Protect the planet.

February 10, 2010

An interesting new perspective has opened up on the dangers of pollution.  While most people know that pollution poisons, it now seems that the immune system is especially affected by contaminants.  Pollution appears to skew the body away from making certain protective antibodies and may impair the ability of a child to respond to vaccines. This would be disastrous considering the number of lives–children’s lives in particular–that vaccines and  vaccinations save.

Consider these facts from the World Health Organization website:

* For the first time in documented history, the number of children dying every year has fallen below ten million–partly the result of improved access to immunization, integrated delivery of essential health interventions, as well as clean water and sanitation.

* Immunization prevents an estimated 2.5 million child deaths every year in all age groups from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. It is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions.

* Vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases is essential to reaching the Millennium Development Goal 4 on reducing under-five mortality by two thirds by 2015.

Now imagine if toxic pollution is slowly undermining the effects of vaccines and vaccinations? Of course I am jumping the gun a little but this summary, Environmental Contaminants and the Immune System, is just another important reminder of the effects of toxic pollution, which reaches much farther and wider than you think, plaguing millions in the developing world.

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