Thursday, June 26, 2008

Poorer countries' health threatened by acceptance of toxic imports

UN says toxic waste exports on the rise

BALI, Indonesia -- Many poor countries accept toxic waste from abroad, such as old computers, rusted ships and pesticides, in a shortsighted bid to lift themselves out of poverty, despite the dangers to human health and the environment, a U.N. rights official said Thursday.

Okechukwu Ibeanu, a special rapporteur of the Human Rights Council, also told delegates discussing a convention on moving hazardous waste that rich nations must do their part to help developing countries build sustainable and environmentally sound economies.

"Many developing countries, despite sometimes knowing the dangers of the waste, continue to accept hazardous products and toxic waste due to poverty and the quest for development," Ibeanu said.

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