A relationship between environmental factors and health can only be detected through close cooperation between environmental and health experts, according to a short review of the issues published by the Swiss statistical office. Aimed mainly at the general reader, the document gives an overview of the main ways in which environmental problems can affect human health, as well as a resumé of key findings from recent studies. According to the report, the level of ultraviolet radiation over Switzerland has increased by 5% over the last decade due to a 3% reduction in the stratospheric ozone layer. Switzerland has the highest incidence of melanomas in Europe with 13 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and the report notes that this figure has doubled over the last decade. There is also strong evidence of links between air pollution and respiratory problems, the report states. In areas of Switzerland with little air pollution 24% of children suffer from coughs, rising to 47% in more polluted regions.
Swiss statistical office, tel: +41 32 713 6011. References: "Swiss environment statistics No. 10: Health".
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