UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: Pollution Kills Three Times More than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB
  • Petitioning Ban Ki-moon

This petition will be delivered to:

Secretary-General of the United Nations
Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: Pollution Kills Three Times More than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB

    1. Petition by

      Pure Earth

The United Nations under the leadership of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been highly effective in reducing health-related death for the poor around the world. WHO’s recent reports show great advances in primary health care, maternal care, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and other health issues.   But health doesn’t stop there.

Polluted air, water, soil and toxic chemicals combined kills three times the number of people than die of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. This means pollution is the number one killer in low-and middle - income countries. In fact, the number of deaths attributed to pollution is now over 10 million a year.

Families around the world suffer tragic losses from the lack of understanding of the scope of this problem. One mother, Seynabou Mbenque had ten children but lost five of them due to fatal illness brought on by toxic pollution. One by one, each of her five youngest children fell ill with the same symptoms – violent seizures and convulsions. One by one they perished the same way, each before the age of two. Seynbou lives in Nggne Diaw Senegal, where she and many others make their living by recycling used lead-acid batteries. After her fifth child died, she realized that it was her toxic work that killed her children. Please read her entire story here: http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org/blog/the-story-of-seynabou-mbengue-and-the-five-children-she-lost/  Then realize that her story is just one of millions of untold and preventable deaths.  

 Pollution is a critical health crisis yet it is being downgraded in importance in the Sustainable Development Goals.

On June 16th, the United Nations’ Open Working Group (OWG) will continue drafting language outlining the most pressing development issues for 2015 through 2030. This document is called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Much of the language in the SDGs regarding pollution has been removed or reduced in importance. Because pollution is now known to be the number one killer of people in low- and middle-income countries, it is critical that the language prioritzing pollution as the largest health threat be put back in and strengthened.

Why are the SDGs important for families like Seynabou?  SDG’s influence where human and financial resources are focused. We need your help convincing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the OWG and the WHO that addressing the health threat of pollution must be a priority and final SDG health language must clearly reflect this.

Please sign the #SpotlightPollution Petition to let Secretary General Ban Ki-moon know that a spotlight needs to be put on pollution. Please sign on the #SpotlightPollution Petition because you want Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to personally step up and convince the OWG to put in and strengthen pollution language in the SDGs. Funding for pollution clean-up and prevention will be greatly diminished without your help.

Please sign now, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will need to show the signatures from this petition by July 14th when the OWG meets again for final wording of the SDGs.

#SpotlightPollution Thank you for your support! 

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: Pollution Kills Three Times More than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB! #SpotlightPollution

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Dev Patel - star of Slumdog Millionaire Supports #SpotlightPollution

      Dev Patel - Pure Earth Celebrity Ambassador - wants you to be informed about the dangers of toxic pollution, share his message and the #SpotlightPollution petition.

      "I believe that a spotlight needs to be put on pollution in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I am urging UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to personally step up and convince the Open Working Group to put in and strengthen pollution in the final draft of the SDGs. Funding for pollution clean-up and prevention will be greatly diminished without this important step." - Dev Patel

      To ensure stronger pollution language stays in the final darft of the SDGs, pass along Dev's message along with this petition: ow.ly/yUhu4 The final drafting of the SDGs happens this week, July 14 -18 at the United Nations.

      Also, read about Dev's first hand account with toxic pollution to understand why he wants to #SpotlightPollution in his message on the picture.

      Thank you in advance for your support, for sharing Dev's message, and the #SpotlightPollution petition with your friends.


    2. Poisoned Poor Killed in Millions by Pollution - Scientific American

      Poisoned Poor Killed in Millions by Pollution

      The Global Alliance on Health and Pollution calls for a war against pollution to save the lives of more than eight million people annually. David Biello reports

    3. Reached 500 signatures
    4. PBS NewsHour quotes Pure Earth President and Founder Richard Fuller

      New analysis focuses on pollution as global killer

      Pollution causes three times as many deaths as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined, according to a Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) analysis released this week. In a press release, Richard Fuller, president of the New York-based non-profit Blacksmith Institute said, "There is a reason why pollution is sometimes called the invisible killer."

    5. Reached 250 signatures
    6. Reason to #SpotlightPollution - The Poisoned Poor and the Pollution Crisis

      Families around the world need us to #SpotlightPollution Please watch and share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WByq1fmd65w&feature=youtu.be

      Pure Earth - The Poisoned Poor and the Pollution Crisis

      Worldwide, poor families are being poisoned right where they live, in some of the world's worst polluted places. They are being poisoned by the toxic jobs they do, by the pollution left behind by industry. Some 200 million people are affected. Children are the most vulnerable.

    7. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Christa Tinari DOYLESTOWN, PA
      • 19 days ago

      We can change this large health crisis!

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 3 months ago

      “One hundred and fifty years ago, the monster began, this country had become a place of industry. Factories grew on the landscape like weeds. Trees fell, fields were up-ended, rivers blackened. The sky choked on smoke and ash, and the people did, too, spending their days coughing and itching, their eyes turned forever toward the ground. Villages grew into town, towns into cities. And people began to live on the earth rather than within it.”

      ― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

      How much will you give for the lives of your childrens children, which is yourself? How much are people willing to give up for air, earth, water, animals, and the coming generations? I think the answer to that is pretty clear.

      -- Lynette Fromme

      We can have technology, prosperity, nice homes and cars, but at the same time we must be conscious of what we are dumping into the water, the air and our food.

      -- Kevin Richardson

    • luis mejia PERú, PERU
      • 3 months ago

      Porque el mundo donde vivo, es el mundo donde vive y vivirán los seres que amo. Debemos cuidar nuestro planeta; es el único que tenemos, y la polución es un problema de contaminación urgente a resolver

    • Jos Bessems ITALY
      • 3 months ago

      As a toxicologist I know how nasty chemicals can be when they are at the wrong place. Neglect is culpable.

      • 3 months ago

      as chemist I do know about the risks. pollution is one of the most urgent and most important issues. we need to act now!


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