05.23.134:00 PM ET

Pollution and Women’s Health

In the developing world, women bear the brunt of environmental contaminants.

Pollution harms everyone, but in the developing world, where the industrialization process lags, toxic chemicals present real danger. This particularly harms women, as they are “especially sensitive” to pollutants, according to Women’s eNews. They’re more likely to develop disease (breast cancer in particular is on the rise) and to pass chemicals on to fetuses through the umbilical cord. The biggest threats are to women who work in industrial settings, where safety standards for workers are often “shoddy or nonexistent.” To fix this, governments will need to work together with environmental and health organizations, with an eye to the special needs of women.