Some forms of cancer are linked directly to metal contamination. Most at risk are the people who work in particular industries or live near plants where production safeguards are inadequate. Arsenic workers have respiratory cancer mortality almost three times the expected rate. That for cadmium smelter workers is more than twice the expected rate, and lead smelter workers' is a third higher than expected. (The excess cancer rate in lead smelter workers may be attributable to the arsenic in the ore rather than to the lead). Lead has been linked to cancers of the respiratory and digestive organs, arsenic to cancer of the skin, mouth, and nose. Other serious and chronic health effects can result from metal poisoning and contamination. Lead and mercury are historically associated with mental disability, lead and arsenic with digestive difficulties, cadmium with kidney disease, and lead with anaemia.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.