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A Toxics-Free Future


The socio-economic impact timeline in Serbia for persistent organic pollutants


Assessing the socio-economic impact of dangerous chemicals, including persistent organic pollutants (POPs) as a specific segment, includes analysis of their impacts on human health, on the environment and on local economic development. Abundant evidence of these effects of dangerous chemicals throughout the world is provided by published research. According to WHO, these chemicals cause around 4.9 million deaths (8.3%) and 86 million Disability-Adjusted Life Years (5.7%) globally; according to very conservative estimates, 20% of cancer deaths are the consequence of the cancerous effects of chemicals in the work place. Their impact on economic development is manifested primarily through reduced productivity of society due to health impairment of both the population and natural resources. Specific research, the results of which are presented in this article, has been focused on the impact of POPs on human health. This impact is presented in very general terms through estimation of the monetized cost effects for treating those diseases and cancers assumed to be caused by POPs in Serbia. The cost estimation based on available data amounts to approximately € 68 million for a 5-year period.