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
It's Been a Bad Year for King Coal, and the Future Doesn't Look Much Better
posted by Theo Spencer, 2/3/15
The number two US coal company, Arch, announced today it lost over $500 million last year. Arch recently ...
How will climate change affect you? Find the information you need here.
posted by Aliya Haq, 5/14/14
On Monday, scientists announced new findings that the massive West Antarctica ice sheet is rapidly melting ...
A Tale of Two Climate Reports, and a Call to Action
posted by Theo Spencer, 5/9/14
Much has been made of the very sobering National Climate Assessment report that came out earlier this ...
Medical and Public Health Professionals Herald the 3rd National Climate Assessment Report
posted by Kim Knowlton, 5/5/14
Today, more than 75 health professionals and scientists are speaking out about the effects of climate ...

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