Climate Change and Health
How does climate change affect human health?
“While climate change is a global process, it has very local impacts that can profoundly affect communities. It can affect people's health and well-being in many ways, some of which are already occurring, by:
Increasing the frequency and severity of heat waves, leading to more heat-related illnesses and deaths.
Changing the range of disease-carrying insects, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas that transmit West Nile Virus, dengue fever, Lyme disease, and malaria to humans.
Increasing exposure to pollen, due to increased plant growing seasons; molds, due to severe storms; and air pollution, due to increased temperature and humidity, all of which can worsen allergies and other lung diseases, such as asthma.
Increasing temperatures and causing poor air quality that can affect the heart and worsen cardiovascular disease.
Increasing flooding events and sea level rise that can contaminate water with harmful bacteria, viruses, and chemicals, causing foodborne and waterborne illnesses.
Increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, in addition to causing injuries, deaths, illnesses, and effects on mental health from damage to property, loss of loved ones, displacement, and chronic stress.
Placing added stress on hospital and public health systems, and limiting people's ability to obtain adequate health care during extreme climate events.” (Source: Text from NIEHS Webpage) [Full Report Click Here]
Resources for Health Professionals
Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health: Provides resources, action opportunities, and connection with health professionals.
CDC Climate & Health Resource for Health Professionals: Provides guidance and training, webinars, data, and tools.
2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change: Must have an account to download PDF.
A Physician’s Guide to Climate Change, Health and Equity from the Public Health Institute: Explores the complex and multifaceted connections between climate change and health, its disproportionate burdens and the impacts on health equity, and opportunities for solutions.
American College of Physicians Climate Toolkit: Provides several helpful resources
Resources for General public
Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Climate and Health: Provides PDF handouts on the DHS program and the connection of climate and health
WHO Health and Climate Toolkit: Provides resources on climate change and health issues. The audience is for planners, policy makers, and those working at the policy/practice interface.
CDC’s Climate and Health Program: Provides news, data, and information for communities
Climate Change and Your Health from the American College of Physicians: A two-page FAQ about climate change and health