|Health and the environment  Obstacles to healthy living
Lead, radon, UV radiation and wastes
Lead has been identified as a substance posing health risks in several regions of Europe. In various locations of CEE, mainly around lead-emitting industries, the public is exposed to very high levels, resulting in impaired mental development and behavioural problems among children.
Estimates indicate that at least 400,000 children in CEE are affected.
The main source of public exposure to ionising radiation is naturally occurring radon. The population segments most at risk are miners and residents of areas where radon is emitted naturally from the soil.
Approximately 2 million people in Europe are estimated to be at an elevated health risk to radon exposure. Recent studies from Scandinavia indicate that as many as 10-20 percent of all lung cancer cases in that region can be attributed to residential radon exposure.
Experimental evidence indicates that exposure to UV-radiation is a cause of skin cancer and cataracts. It may also suppress normal immune responses.
Waste collection, disposal and treatment procedures pose potential dangers, as waste often contains many hazardous chemical, biological and physical agents. The environment surrounding a waste site can be biologically or chemically contaminated by ambient air emission or leakage to surface and groundwater.
Learn more about hazardous chemicals...