An assessment by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), called for under President Obama's Climate Action Plan and released earlier this week, discusses the reality of climate change as a significant threat to the health of the American people, now and for the future. The report underscores the wide range of impacts that climate change can have on humans, touching upon issues pertaining to food safety, nutrition, water-related illness, mental health, air quality, vector-borne diseases, and a host of other concerns.
The scientific report responds to the 1990 Congressional mandate to "assist the Nation in understanding, assessing, predicting, and responding to human-induced and natural processes of global change. The USGCRP's Climate and Health assessment has been developed to inform public health officials, urban and disaster response planners, decision makers, and other stakeholders within and outside of government who are interested in better understanding the risks climate change presents to human health." Note that public health officials are a target audience for this report. We hope you will take a moment to look over the executive summary.
By Nadia Prupus for CommonDreams I April 4, 2016
Climate change is a serious threat to public health, particularly for pregnant women, children, communities of color and low-income people, a government report issued Monday has warned.
The report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, finds that rising temperatures in the coming years will bring along with them the increased risk of:
- death from heat stroke, particularly in the summer months;
- chronic and acute respiratory issues;
- vector-borne illnesses like the West Nile virus and Lyme disease, as well as the new emergence of new pathogens;
- chemical toxins in the food chain;
- and mental health consequences of being exposed to climate disasters—among a litany of other risks.
“Every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change,” White House Science Adviser John Holdren said Monday. “Some are more vulnerable than others.”
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