World Environment Day 2019 focused on air pollution and how we need to clean up our act (no pun intended) – those scary facts are that 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air and that it causes 7 million premature deaths annually!

Over the years there have been various other themes, many spotlighting pollution of our natural resources – water for example, we know our water cooler water is pure, but we also take it for granted, living in first world countries as we do, that the water we swim in and drink from our taps is also clean, but that’s not always the case. Water pollution has a fatal effect on our surroundings, here courtesy of Seametrics, are the frightening facts:

  • ‘Every day, 2 million tons of sewage and industrial and agricultural waste are discharged into the world’s water (UN WWAP 2003), the equivalent of the weight of the entire human population of 6.8 billion people.’
  • ‘Tens of millions of people in Bangladesh have been exposed to poisonous levels of arsenic from contaminated groundwater.’
  • ‘In developing countries, 70% of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters, polluting the usable water supply.’
  • ‘More than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated, polluting rivers, lakes and coastal areas.’
  • ‘About 10% of America’s beaches fail to meet the federal benchmark for what constitutes safe swimming water.’
  • ‘Federal authorities estimate that the headwaters of 40% of Western rivers are tainted with toxic discharge from abandoned mines.’
  • ‘More than 70% of China’s rivers and lakes are polluted, government reports have said, and almost half may contain water that is unfit for human consumption or contact.’
  • ‘Every year, more people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war.’
  • ‘Industry dumps an estimated 300-400 MT of polluted waste in waters every year.’
  • ‘Nitrate from agriculture is the most common chemical contaminant in the world’s groundwater aquifers.’