By Ada Carr
Climate change (click here) is making Americans sicker, according to a study released this week by 400,000 doctors representing the 11 top U.S. medical societies.
The study by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, a new group representing half of all U.S. physicians, says impacts from global warming include cardio-respiratory diseases associated with wildfires and air pollution, injuries from extreme heat events, the spread of infectious diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease, and health and mental health problems caused by floods and extreme weather.
“Doctors in every part of our country see that climate change is making Americans sicker," Dr. Mona Sarfaty, director of the consortium, said in a release on the study. "Physicians are on the frontlines and see the impacts in exam rooms. What's worse is that the harms are felt most by children, the elderly, Americans with low-income or chronic illnesses, and people in communities of color."
The map accompanying the study shows that the Southeast and the West see a majority of the impacts. Both experience poor outdoor air quality, extreme events such as flooding, storms and droughts, threats to mental health and well-being and extreme temperatures. The Southeast also experiences mosquito-borne illnesses and water-related infections, while the West sees food-related infections and wildfires.
The scientists used research on health impacts of climate change, physician stories and evidence showing that reducing greenhouse gasses improves health and save lives to draw their conclusions, according to the release....