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Climate Change is Killing us — in more ways than one

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We've all heard about climate change's effect on our planet, but what about its catastrophic impact on human health?

SAN DIEGO - eTradeWire -- By: Grace Jennings-Edquist, Commissioning Editor, Liam Westra, 360info

Climate change is expected to cause an estimated USD$2-4 billion in direct damage costs to health by the year 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

But the human health toll is more devastating.

Increasingly frequent heatwaves, storms, bushfires, hurricanes and floods can cause death and injury. The smoke from bushfires contributes to respiratory illness and premature death, especially in busy cities.

Already, 37 percent of heat-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change — a figure that will likely rise along with temperatures.

Extreme weather events also spread disease. Changing temperature and weather patterns can create conditions for waterborne or foodborne illnesses such as cholera, and vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever to thrive.

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Climate change is expected to cause an estimated USD$2-4 billion in direct damage costs to health by the year 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

But the human health toll is more devastating.

Increasingly frequent heat waves, storms, bushfires, hurricanes, and floods can cause death, and injury. The smoke from bushfires contributes to respiratory illness, and premature death, especially in busy cities.

Already, 37 percent of heat-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change — a figure that will likely rise along with temperatures.

As the latest Global Burden of Disease study revealed, heat, and air pollution have become bigger problems in many parts of the world since 1990:

Extreme weather events also spread disease. Changing temperature, and weather patterns can create conditions for waterborne or foodborne illnesses such as cholera, and vector-borne diseases such as malaria, and dengue fever to thrive.

The impact of these weather disasters on food security can be devastating.

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With crops impacted by changing weather, and drinking water rendered unsafe, climate change can lead to malnutrition.

Malnourished children have a higher risk of death from common childhood illnesses such as malaria. Young children also bear the brunt of foodborne diseases: Children under five also account for 30 percent of foodborne fatalities.

Climate change can also undermine many social determinants for good health, such as livelihoods, and social support structures; can cause mental health issues, including climate anxiety, post-traumatic stress (including in frontline workers such as firefighters, and health workers), and, long-term disorders due to displacement, and other life upheavals.

Women also face greater risks of violence as a result of climate change — with weather disasters often linked to higher rates of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other forms of gender-based abuse.

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Source: 360 Organization
Filed Under: Environment

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