More than 70 health organizations call for action on climate change

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A child uses a spacer with an inhaler to treat asthma symptoms.  Rising temperatures worsen ozone and particulate pollution that contribute to asthma problems.  - Wikimedia Commons

A child uses a spacer with an inhaler to treat asthma symptoms. Rising temperatures worsen ozone and particulate pollution that contribute to asthma problems.

Wikimedia Commons

Indiana ranks 14th in asthma-related deaths in the United States In 2016, there were about six times more tick-borne illnesses in the state than there were ten years ago. Health experts say rising temperatures are making these and other problems worse – and it’s time for the United States to fix them.

More than 70 healthcare organizations in the United States are calling on government and business leaders to act on the climate crisis. They say that things that are good for the climate are often good for public health. Renewable energy, for example, helps reduce ozone pollution and harmful particles in the air that lead to heart and lung problems.

Children, the elderly, minorities and low-income populations are particularly vulnerable to many of these health problems.

Dr. Aparna Bole is on the Environmental Health Council of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She says it’s time for healthcare professionals to take their seats at the table.

“This health is always a priority when considering policies related to energy, transport, food systems and some of the other areas described here – I think it is of crucial importance,” said Bole.

Dr. Laura Anderko works at the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment. She says many people don’t realize that poor air quality can also cause children to miss school or adults to miss work, which affects the economy.

“I really think that if more people could connect these dots, we would advance healthy public policy faster than we are currently doing,” Anderko said.

Experts also say the United States must do more to make healthcare facilities and communities resilient in the face of climate change.

Indiana Environmental Reports are supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project that develops Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to environmental change issues. .

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