Climate change can affect our health in different ways. It can make existing health problems worse. It can also create new health risks that didn’t exist before. Here are some health impacts linked to climate change:
- Extreme Temperatures and Weather: Rising temperatures can cause more illnesses related to heat, especially for older adults, people with chronic illnesses, and those who can’t easily find a place to cool off. On the other hand, extreme cold can also be a health risk, especially for people who are unhoused.
- Air Quality: Climate change can make the air more polluted, which can make breathing problems like asthma worse. It can also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Breathing in things like smog, fine particles, and pollen can harm our lungs.
- Diseases Carried by Insects: Warmer temperatures and changes in rainfall create good conditions for insects like mosquitoes and ticks that carry diseases to survive and breed. This means there is a higher risk of getting diseases like Lyme disease and West Nile virus.
- Safe Food and Water: Climate change affects the quality and safety of food and water. Higher temperatures and extreme weather can make food and water sources unsafe, which increases the risk of getting sick from them. People with weak immune systems and low-income individuals are at higher risk.
- Solar Ultra Violet (UV) Radiation: People who work and play outdoors, especially children and youth, have greater exposure to solar UV radiation.