Governmental World

Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health (See endnote 30)

The World Health Organization held the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, entitled Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe, on June 23-25th, 2004. The ministers recognized that improvement in the health of children as it related to the environment was very uneven across Europe because of the consequences of poor environmental conditions, poverty, disruption of social protection and health systems, armed conflict and violence. The ministers recognized that all children suffered from the consequences of polluted and unsafe environments. The ministers stated that: injuries were the first cause of death from birth to age 18 years; contaminated water, air, food, and soil caused gastrointestinal disease, respiratory disease, birth defects, and neurotoxic and developmental disorders; there was a serious need for safe and balanced nutrition; and that many chemicals had the potential to cause long-term toxicity and carcinogenic, neurotoxic, immunotoxic, genotoxic, endocrine-disrupting, and allergenic effects.

They recommended the following priority goals:

  • 1. Prevent and reduce morbidity and mortality from gastrointestinal disorders and other health effects related to water and sanitation for children
  • 2. Prevent and substantially reduce health consequences from accidents and injuries
  • 3. Prevent and reduce respiratory disease due to outdoor and indoor air pollution and reduce asthma attacks
  • 4. Reduce the risk of disease and disability from exposure to hazardous chemicals
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