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14.2: The Impact of the Environment on Public Health

  • Page ID
    13420
  • The Center for Disease Control developed a program called the Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. This program collects data from both diseases and the environment to better understand the role the environment plays in the health of our population.

    YouTube Video: Better Information for Better Health: CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1Ad79HGeJE)

    Climate Change and Health

    Climate change can impact health in many ways. Extreme weather events, such as extreme heat, hurricanes, flooding, droughts, pollution, and increased in sea level can all potentially create harmful environments.

    Table: Health Impacts from Climate Change from CDC

    Weather Event Health Effects Populations Most Affected
    Heat waves Heat stress Extremes of age, athletes, people with respiratory disease
    Extreme weather events,(rain, hurricane, tornado, flooding) Injuries, drowning Coastal, low-lying land dwellers, low SES
    Droughts, floods, increased mean temperature Vector – food – and water-borne diseases Multiple populations at risk
    Sea-level rise Injuries, drowning, water and soil salinization, ecosystem and economic disruption Coastal, low SES
    Drought, ecosystem migration Food and water shortages, malnutrition Low SES, elderly, children
    Extreme weather events, drought Mass population movement, international conflict General population
    Increases in ground-level ozone, airborne allergens, and other pollutants Respiratory disease exacerbations (COPD, asthma, allergic rhinitis, bronchitis) Elderly, children, those with respiratory disease
    Climate change generally; extreme events Mental health Young, displaced, agricultural sector, low SES

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