About one-fourth of all instances of disease are preventable and caused by environmental factors that could be changed, health experts say. Children are even more affected by diseases caused by environmental factors, with about one-third of all instances of disease being preventable in children younger than 5 years old. It is estimated that about 13 million lives could be saved every year if precautions were taken to better manage environments. The main preventable worldwide diseases are diarrhea, malaria, lower respiratory infections and accidental injuries. These could be reduced by improved hygiene with water storage and handling of toxic substances, cleaner fuel usage and improved building safety.
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