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
Global Collaboration on Climate Change: Mailman School Forges Ties With Scientists in China and India
posted by Kim Knowlton, 10/1/15
This article originally appeared on the Mailman School of Public Health-Columbia University homepage ...
EPA's Clean Power Plan: Protecting Health and Changing the World
posted by Kim Knowlton, 8/5/15
August 3rd, 2015: the remarkable day the US EPA finalized its Clean Power Plan and moved us all toward ...
New climate-health report in The Lancet: our opportunity moment is now
posted by Kim Knowlton, 6/23/15
Action on climate change is a medical necessity. That's the word out in a new report published today ...
As Temperatures Spike, Ahmedabad's Proactive Heat Action Plan Expands
posted by Kim Knowlton, 4/26/15
Co-authored by Meredith Connolly, NRDC Energy Law and Policy Fellow; and Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist ...

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