What Are the Effects of Poor Environmental Sanitation?

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The effects of poor environmental sanitation are numerous and they include human disease, poor overall human health and economic disadvantages as well as social disadvantages. Chadwick published a report in 1842 that was the first to detail that a lack of sanitation would lead to disease for humans.

The diseases that are associated with poor sanitation are correlated with poverty and infancy disease. Together, the diseases caused by or associated with poor sanitation make up approximately 10 percent of global disease. In fact, in 2007, the readers of the British Medical Journal voted sanitation as the most important medical milestone since 1840.

Today, more than half of the populations in Africa, Asia and Latin America have a disease that is contracted, caused by or associated with poor sanitation due to poor hygiene practices and the inadequate water sources that come with poor sanitation. In 2010, 2.6 billion people around the world did not have the means to access proper sanitation methods. Sanitation is the common term used to describe the safe disposal of human excreta. Governments have typically built the sanitation infrastructure enjoyed by populations but, in many countries, this has not been done and organizations as well as sanitation professionals are working to help people get better sanitation.