Hazards to human health include cancers, asthma, skin rashes, infectious diseases, eye and lung irritation, developmental problems, and broken bones. Population hazards also include habitat destruction, resource degradation, threats to public health from contamination of drinking water, bacterial resistance to antibiotics, famine, and such macroconcerns as global climate change. Of greatest consequence are hazardous effects that are irreversible or long lasting, or which seriously compromise the length or quality of lives in current and future generations. Hazards that will affect future generations, or groups spatially removed from the root of the problem, may go unidentified or be discounted in formulating an assessment of risk.

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