Climate Change Threatens Health

Serious Threats Where You Live and What To Do About Them

Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats facing the nation, but few people are aware of how it can affect them. Children, the elderly, and communities living in poverty are among the most vulnerable. Click on a state on the map for more information on climate-health threats, actions being taken to prepare communities, and what you can do.


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VIDEO: Climate Change Threatens Health

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Six Ways Climate Change Threatens Health

Air Pollution

Rising heat worsens smog. Burning coal and oil emits carbon and particle pollution; plants produce more allergenic pollen, affecting respiratory health threats like asthma.
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Extreme Heat

Heat waves send thousands to emergency rooms and cost health care systems millions of dollars; climate change brings longer, more intense heat waves.
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Infectious Diseases

Hotter summers can make disease-carrying insects more active, for longer seasons; illnesses like dengue, West Nile, and Lyme can spread into new areas.
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Hotter days and nights, and changing rainfall patterns reduce water supply quantity and quality, and diminish food security.
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Climate change intensifies rainfall; heavy rains increase risk of drinking water contamination and illness; floods can force communities to relocate.
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Extreme Weather

In 2011, thousands of record-breaking extreme weather events harmed communities and health in the US. Climate change is contributing to more intense and frequent extreme weather events.
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Climate and Health blog posts from
Study: Weather-Related Blackouts Doubled Since 2003
posted by Theo Spencer, 4/15/14
I think it was either Cheech or Chong who said, “I’m fed up and sick of this.” Well ...
New York City Illustrates Gaps In Flood Insurance Debate
posted by Rob Moore, 4/8/14
A new report from my colleagues at NRDC illustrates just how off-the-mark the recent debate in Congress ...
Floodwaters are gone but not forgotten: lessons learned from Sandy
posted by Kim Knowlton, 4/8/14
There’s a lot in the news about climate change and how it’s affecting communities today. ...
From global to local: Urban Heat Islands amplify global climate change impacts for Latinos
posted by Kim Knowlton, 4/2/14
Guest Blog by Juan Declet-Barreto, PhD, NRDC Climate and Health Fellow, Climate and Clean Air Program ...
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