Tuesday, April 23, 2024
HomeHealthHow Climate Change Is Impacting Your Health - Check Experts Warning

How Climate Change Is Impacting Your Health – Check Experts Warning


The impact of global warming can be felt across the world with temperatures hitting abnormal highs or lows, uncharacteristic to the particular area.  Dr Ajay Agarwal, Director – Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Noida, shares, “Human-caused global climate change is a result of rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels. Climate change is associated with more frequent and intense heat waves, a longer and more destructive hurricane season, greater flood and drought risk, and a lengthened fire season with more severe and frequent wildfires, especially in drought-prone areas. These and other effects of climate change have contributed directly to adverse health effects, increased the burdens of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and compromised health care delivery.”

Adverse Effect Of Climate Change On Health

Dr Ajay Agarwal lists the following health impacts of climate change:

Heat: Physiologic adaptive capacity to heat exposure declines with advanced age (especially over 80 years) and is affected by medical conditions and prescription medications. There maybe an increased risk of heat strokes in age groups.

Wildfires: Wildfire smoke has far-reaching impacts, affecting people who are far away from the fires themselves. During these periods, emergency department visits for asthma in both pediatric and adult patients increased. Wildfires have many immediate and direct health effects including burns and physical trauma. They also create conditions favourable to landslides as they burn through vegetation that stabilises soils. Living through a wildfire has been shown to result in protracted health effects, especially for mental health, with survivors showing higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and posttraumatic stress disorder up to a decade later. Smoke is the most important health risk from wildfires, and contains many toxicants based upon what gets burned (eg, lead in car batteries) and often includes acrolein (lung irritant), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (carcinogens and neurotoxicants), oxides of nitrogen (lung irritant and ozone chemical precursor), and particulate matter (PM).

Also Read: 10 Healthy Summer Fruits for Diabetics

Hurricanes and floods: Immediate risks include unintentional injuries such as drowning, electrocution, lacerations, falls, head injuries from falling debris, and motor vehicle accident trauma. A broad array of disease burdens and specific risks to persons with specific conditions have been associated with floods and hurricanes that can transpire over days to years after the event. All-cause mortality, as well as cardiovascular and respiratory deaths, increased after floods.



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