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Vatican hosts health conference as awareness of pollution's impact widens

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  • Vatican hosts health conference as awareness of pollution's impact widens

    People have right to know environmental causes of illness

    Vatican hosts health conference as awareness of pollution's impact widens
    • Carol Glatz for Catholic News Service
    • Vatican City
    • November 18, 2015

    Patients have a right to a diagnosis that includes the possible causes of their illness, not just treatment addressing the symptoms, said a doctor invited to a Vatican-sponsored congress.
    The increasing awareness of the impact that pollution and other environmental factors are having on human health should play a greater role in medical assessments and policies dealing with prevention, Dr. Antonio Pasciuto said at a Vatican news conference Nov. 17.
    Pasciuto, who is a member of the European Academy for Environmental Medicine and president of the Italian Association of Environmental Medicine and Health, said many illnesses and diseases are caused by exposure to toxic substances present in the air, water, food and everyday products.
    Science has found and continues to study the harmful effects of insecticides, pesticides, heavy metals, molds and a whole host of chemicals and particles people put into the environment, he said.
    "Practically all chronic pathologies and so-called functional disturbances are to be attributed, at least in large part, to such factors," Pasciuto said.
    "Too often we doctors tend to blame age or stress, forgetting to study the causes and overlooking the many forms of environmental overload to which all of us, to different degrees, are exposed.?
    Looking deeper at the environmental causes of illness not only assists the doctor in finding a more effective treatment and therapy, he said ? it can aid in prevention and possible solutions in order to avoid or correct environmental pollution...

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