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Six in ten people worldwide lack access to flush toilets or other adequate sanitation

Date:
February 20, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
It may be the 21st century, with all its technological marvels, but 6 out of every 10 people on Earth still do not have access to flush toilets or other adequate sanitation that protects the user and the surrounding community from harmful health effects, a new study has found. The research says the number of people without access to improved sanitation is almost double the previous estimate.

It may be the 21st century, with all its technological marvels, but 6 out of every 10 people on Earth still do not have access to flush toilets or other adequate sanitation that protects the user and the surrounding community from harmful health effects, a new study has found. The research, published in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology, says the number of people without access to improved sanitation is almost double the previous estimate.

Jamie Bartram and colleagues explain that the current definition of "improved sanitation" focuses on separating humans from human excrement, but does not include treating that sewage or other measures to prevent it from contaminating rivers, lakes and oceans. Using that definition, 2010 United Nations estimates concluded that 4.3 billion people had access to improved sanitation and 2.6 billion did not.

The new estimates used what the authors regarded as a more realistic definition from the standpoint of global health, since untreated sewage is a major cause of disease. They refined the definition of "improved sanitation" by discounting sewage systems lacking access to sewage treatment. They concluded that about 60 percent of the world's population does not have access to improved sanitation, up from the previous estimate of 38 percent.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rachel Baum, Jeanne Luh, Jamie Bartram. Sanitation: A Global Estimate of Sewerage Connections without Treatment and the Resulting Impact on MDG Progress. Environmental Science & Technology, 2013; 47 (4): 1994 DOI: 10.1021/es304284f

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Six in ten people worldwide lack access to flush toilets or other adequate sanitation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220113905.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, February 20). Six in ten people worldwide lack access to flush toilets or other adequate sanitation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220113905.htm
American Chemical Society. "Six in ten people worldwide lack access to flush toilets or other adequate sanitation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130220113905.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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