Oil exploration and extraction in Ecuador's Amazon Basin since the 1970s
"has resulted in a public health emergency" for individuals living in oil-producing
areas, according to a new report (Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2004;15:205-211 .
Oil companies have discharged more than 30 billion gallons of crude
oil and toxic wastes into land and waterways of northeastern Ecuador. In the
report, researchers affiliated with Umeå University International School
of Public Health in Sweden and the "Manuel Amunárriz" Institute of
Epidemiology and Community Health, in Coca, Ecuador, reviewed studies on environmental
and health consequences of oil development in the region. These studies have
found significantly higher cancer rates, elevated miscarriage rates, and other
health problems among individuals living in oil-producing areas.
Stephenson J. Oil and Health. JAMA. 2004;291(19):2309. doi:10.1001/jama.291.19.2309-b