Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The globalization of toxic waste

Photo: courtesy The Sun (UK)
Mutant births are soaring in China due to pollution, especially in chemical, manufacturing, and coal-mining regions, both rural and urban, reports the China Daily -- accounting for a good part of China Family Planning Commission statistics in a previous study: a 40% birth defect increase since 2001, years that coincided with uncontrolled economic growth.

Worldwide imports of toxic waste, frequently illegal, have caused scandals in the developing world. A Current.tv video shows imported computer waste poisoning villagers in Guangdong. The action group Toxiclinks exposed similar problems with e-waste, child labour, and toxic burdens in India; in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, the 2006 Probo Koala incident 2006 revealed open dumps, illegal imports, and corruption; in 2008, similar problems were found in Accra, Ghana. Pesticide Action Network and Via Campesina are campaigning against continued exports by chemical corporations of banned pesticides to farms in the Third World.

Greenpeace has for years led a campaign against the toxic waste trade, and compiled reports. See also Wikipedia on electronic waste and body burden, Ariana Baliestri's 2006 paper on contraband capitalism, Dr Sandra Steingraber's research into body burdens in US families and  mothers, and impacts abroad due to war

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