How climate change is hurting, Experts have called climate change the “greatest global threat to health.” Extreme heat and pollution are linked to many conditions including asthma and heart disease and heat kills more people than hurricanes or floods each year.

How climate change is hurting Americans health – and what experts suggest we do about it

Researchers across the globe collaborate to study climate and health in an annual report, the Lancet medical journals’ “countdown” on health and climate change. In this year’s U.S. portion of the report, released Tuesday, scientists break down research on the health impacts of a warming climate and outline policy recommendations Experts have long called for health and equity to be central to the climate change fight. How climate change is hurting, For example, heart disease can be caused by particulate matter pollution, according to the American Heart Association, and long-term exposure to these microscopic, inhalable pollutants causes asthma in children, the American Thoracic Society says. Communities of color, which are often home to disproportionate fossil fuel infrastructure; frontline or coastal communities; older adults; children and infants; outdoor laborers; people with underlying health conditions; and those who are pregnant. “Health is at the mercy of our global fossil fuel addiction,” said Dr. Renee Salas, an emergency medicine physician and Yerby Fellow at the Harvard University’s Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment, in a media briefing on the findings. Air pollution from fossil fuel burning has been found to harm every organ in the body, research shows. According to data from the report, particulate matter caused 32,000 deaths across the U.S.

in 2020, and 37% of those were “directly related to fossil fuels,” the authors wrote, noting those could be underestimates. The problems don’t impact U.S. communities equally, and people of color are more likely to experience harmful pollution and heat. How climate change is hurting, That’s because fossil fuel infrastructure is disproportionately located in areas where Black, Indigenous and other people of color live. These residents are then more exposed to extreme heat and more impacted by heat-related illness and death. Co-author Natasha DeJarnett called the disproportionate exposures and effects an “inequitable burden.” Black, Asian, Latino and low-income communities disproportionately have higher levels of particulate matter than white and richer communities. The disparities in these concentrations “may be worse than previously estimated,” she and the other researchers wrote. “Those groups are those that contribute least to this crisis but they bear the heaviest burden,” said DeJarnett, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Louisville’s Envirome Institute, during the briefing. Climate threats amplify inequities due to structural racism and the intersecting risks that come with it. While more than 40% of the U.S. population lived in cities where air pollution levels exceeded safe standards, areas of the country with the largest projected increases in heat-related deaths are 40% more likely to be Black communities.

Source: This news is originally published by usatoday

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