WHO:Israel Has Low Environmentally-Induced Death Rate

More fuel to the fire when I explain to my Canadian mother why I choose to live in Jerusalem: Israel, apparently, has a low environmentally-induced death rate, reports a cheery article in the Jerusalem Post this week. Unfortunately, Israelis probably make up for it in road deaths and other unfortunate events. But thanks to research from the World Health Organization, us TreeHuggers stationed in Israel can sleep more soundly knowing that the doom and gloom environmental reports we read over here may be misguided. According to the report, Israel gets a decent grade when it comes to negative health effects due to environmental degradation.

Estimates of years of life lost in Israel due to respiratory infections and diseases, lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases caused by outdoor pollution are among the lowest in the world, with 6,000 estimated deaths per year from these causes. Israel, believe it or not, is considered one of the best-rated countries in the world, reports the Jerusalem Post. The worst are Angola, Burkina Faso, Mali and Afghanistan.Even though Israel is heavily urbanized (92 percent are in cities), Israel's water, sanitation and hygiene were ranked very high (woo hoo!), while its rates of asthma, intentional injuries, cardiovascular diseases, diarrhea, and musculoskeletal diseases were lower than the world average. It also was listed as having no overcrowding, malnutrition or use of leaded gasoline.

Israel's lung cancer rating was 0.5, compared to 2.5 in the worst-ranked countries. Other cancers occurred in Israel at a rate of 2.1 compared to 4.1 in the worst-rated nations.

How does your country fare? Do you think the WHO reports give an accurate indication of the relative environmental health in your country? Or is the jury still out? TreeHuggers everywhere want to know. Leave us your comments. ::Jerusalem Post