Respiratory Diseases

Finally, respiratory diseases such as emphysema are also major killers in the less developed nations, just as they are in the more developed nations. As with all disease in the less developed nations, poverty and malnutrition increase individual susceptibility to illness. In addition, long periods spent cooking over open fires in closed rooms expose millions of women to cancer-causing toxins equivalent to smoking several packs of cigarettes daily. Meanwhile, those who live in cities such as Caracas and Calcutta risk their health daily because of pollution from automo- biles and industries.

Unfortunately, in some less developed nations, government officials lack the power to control polluting industries—or even profit from and promote these in- dustries. Equally important, officials in less developed nations sometimes believe that pollution and the attendant morbidity and mortality are short-term costs they must pay to industrialize and improve their nation’s health in the long run.

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