Study: Safe water saves lives across the globe

Wendy Koch
USA Today

Dirty water and sewage have long been known to be health threats, but an upcoming United Nations report shows just how devastating their toll is on mothers and young children.

In a study of 193 countries to be released Thursday, Canadian-based researchers say they’ve been able to quantify — for the first time — how safe water and public sanitation efforts affect health when factoring out other variables such as a nation’s wealth, fertility or location.

“The fact we can see a linear relationship…was a surprising finding,” says co-author June J. Cheng of Ontario-based McMaster University, which co-teamed with the United Nations University, the U.N.‘s academic arm. The study, published in the British journal Environmental Health, analyzed data from 2008 to 2010, the most recent available.

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