Climate Impacts on Human Health

How Climate Changes can Impact on Human Health?

Overview:

Higher temperatures, variations in rainfall, changes in the frequency or severity of some weather extremes, and coastal erosion are all effects of climate change. These factors endanger our health by influencing the food we consume, the water we drink, the air we inhale, and the climate we encounter.

The intensity of these health hazards will be determined by public health and safety systems’ ability to handle or prepare for these evolving dangers, as well as individual behavior, age, gender, and economic position. The effects will vary depending on where someone lives, how vulnerable they are to health concerns, how much they are exposed to climate change consequences, and how effectively they and their community can adapt to change.

Rise in Temperature:

Heatwaves will become more common and last longer as average temperatures rise. Heat-related fatalities are expected to rise as a result of these changes-thousands to tens of thousands of deaths every year during the summer months by the end of the century.

The lower decrease in cold-related mortality expected in the winter months will not compensate for these deaths. Adaptive solutions, such as increased air conditioning use, are likely to mitigate the anticipated increases in death due to excessive heat.

Heatstroke and dehydration, as well as cardiovascular, pulmonary, and cerebrovascular disorders, can occur when exposed to excessive heat. People in northern latitudes are less prepared to cope with extreme heat, hence they are more likely to be affected. Outdoor laborers, student-athletes, and the homeless, for example, are more sensitive to high heat than others because they spend more time outside. Low-income families and the elderly may be unable to afford air conditioning, putting them at risk of overheating. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with certain medical disorders have a harder time controlling their body temperature, making them more sensitive to excessive heat.

Poor Quality Air:

The air we breathe both indoors and outside is affected by climate change. Warmer temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns may wreak havoc on air quality, triggering asthma attacks and other respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Smoke and other harmful air pollutants are produced by wildfires, which are projected to grow in quantity and intensity as the climate changes. Airborne allergens like ragweed pollen are affected by rising carbon dioxide levels and higher temperatures.

Ozone Gas Impact:

Warmer temperatures caused by climate change are expected to increase the number of days with unsafe levels of ground-level ozone, a toxic air pollutant that is a component of smog, according to scientists.

People who are exposed to higher amounts of ground-level ozone are more likely to die young or be brought to the hospital for respiratory disorders. Ozone, at ground level, can harm lung tissue, impair lung function, and irritate the airways. Asthma as well as other lung problems may be aggravated. Children, the elderly, outdoor laborers, and people who suffer from asthma or other chronic lung problems are all in danger. If current air quality standards remain unchanged, rising ozone concentrations due to climate change might result in tens of thousands of ozone-related diseases and premature deaths in the United States by 2030.

Extreme Weather Effects:

Rises in the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events, such as flooding, droughts, and storms, endanger people’s health during and after the occurrence. Small kids, elderly individuals, those with impairments or medical issues, and the impoverished are among the most vulnerable. Extreme events can have a variety of effects on human health, including:

  • Food and water safety are becoming increasingly scarce.
  • Bridges and roads are being damaged, making it difficult to get to hospitals and pharmacies.
  • Communication, energy, and medical services are all being disrupted.
  • Incorrect usage of portable power generators during and after thunderstorms is leading to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • causing or exacerbating mental health issues like depression and PTSD.

Older people, particularly those with restricted mobility who are unable to utilize elevators during power outages, are in danger of becoming ill as a result of emergency evacuations. Medical records, prescriptions, and medical devices must all be transferred at the same time, making evacuations more difficult. If they are unable to use evacuation routes, have difficulties interpreting or hearing impending danger alerts, or have limited capacity to convey their requirements, some people with disabilities may be disproportionately affected.

Effects of Water Pollution:

If people are exposed to polluted drinking or recreational water, they can become unwell. Increased temperatures, more frequent heavy rains and runoff, and the impact of storms all contribute to an increased risk of sickness as a result of climate change. GI issues such as diarrhea, effects on the neurological and respiratory systems, and liver and kidney damage are all possible side effects.

Even if water gets contaminated, water resources, public health, and environmental authorities in the United States maintain several public health measures to decrease the danger of exposure and sickness. Water quality monitoring, drinking water treatment standards and methods, beach closures, and issuing cautions for boiling drinking water and shellfish harvesting are just a few examples.

Other Health Impacts of Climate:

Climate change and human health have other connections. Agricultural yields and output will be affected by variations in temperature and precipitation, as well as droughts and floods. These effects may jeopardize food security and endanger human health in some parts of the globe, resulting in starvation, the spread of infectious illnesses, and food poisoning. The harshest of these consequences are expected to be felt by disadvantaged people in underdeveloped countries. Trade, migration, and immigration may all have an impact on human health in other nations, which has consequences for national security.

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