Saturday, December 27, 2008

Climate change has health implications

Daily Astorian (Oregon): …The World Health Organization is increasingly focusing on global warming's potential affects on factors critical to human health, such as safe drinking water, sufficient food, secure shelter and good social conditions, especially in poorer nations.

Rising sea levels put coastal areas and island nations at risk of flooding and may make some areas uninhabitable. Drought may also cause mass migrations to other regions.

The Centers for Disease Control - the federal agency whose mission is to protect the health of all Americans - is focusing on a long list of possible health consequences of climate change, including:
  • injuries caused by severe weather (hurricanes, cyclones, tornados, flooding) and heat exposure,
  • increases in allergies, asthma and respiratory illness rates due to increases in ground-level ozone levels, airborne allergens and other pollutants,
  • increases in diseases carried by mosquitoes and other insects - malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile virus and others,
  • increases in water-borne illnesses such as cholera and other diarrheal diseases,
  • threats to the safety and availability of food and water supplies,
  • negative impacts of mass migration and regional conflicts…..
Public health nursing during the New Deal in the US, from the FDR Library

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