Health Impacts of Climate Change

Climate Change and its Impact on Human Health

Climate change is a global issue that has had a significant impact on human health, and if it is not addressed, future generations will face the repercussions. Minor climate changes have caused a variety of health issues, including heart troubles, allergies, cancer, and an increased risk of mosquito-borne infections. The greenhouse effect is exacerbated by carbon pollution caused by the use of natural gas and contemporary farming techniques such as the use of fertilizers. This outcome contributes to climate change's impact on human health (Portier 621).

Effect on Respiratory Health

Climate change has triggered many diseases such as asthma causing a significant challenge in the United States due to the increasing number of patients suffering from the disease. High temperatures as a result of climate change affect the air quality, and further eroding the ozone layer (McMichael (1336). Pollutants in the air such as dust particles, carbon dioxide makes it hard for individuals with asthma. According to McMichael (1337), other related effects include coughing, irritation of the throat, congestion and chest pains. Climate change has also resulted in dramatic temperatures and heat waves which trigger heat-related diseases such as heat cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. An excellent example of such effects is a heat wave that hit Europe back in 2003 killing over 50000 people.

Increased Allergies

Climate change would also result in allergies due to the rising temperatures. An increase in carbon dioxide levels in the air can significantly impact on the pollen particles produced by plants. These substances may also cause allergies (Watts 1866). Climate change also triggers cardiovascular disease because the warm climate creates conditions that strain the cardiovascular system. As a result, this situation puts people at risk of suffering severe cardiac events such as heart attack and stroke. An increase in the wildfires in Alaska and western United States have vastly resulted into climate change which in turn affects human health negatively.

Problem Statement

Climate change is a threat to human health as it affects their well-being in many ways such as decreased air quality, extreme weather patterns. Worse still, humans are affected by diseases transmitted by water and food as well as carriers such as ticks and mosquitoes. Climate change has recently become a global public health concern, with severe effects predicted to manifest and affect different parts of the world in varying patterns. McMichael (1341) assert that some of the health effects of such weather conditions include an increase in the cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, premature deaths and injuries.

Suggestions for Addressing the Issue (Solutions)

The government should introduce preventive measures such as a carbon tax to achieve an overall reduction of these emissions. The fee should act as a directive for the individuals and businesses to reduce the emissions by employing suitable strategies such as using solar panels or using clean fuel. The government should also apply the cap-and-trade approach which entails creating an incentive for a substantial reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions via a market-oriented system. Watts (1888) argue that the government should budget towards employing these two strategies to ensure the issue of climate change is addressed efficiently.

Impact on the Health Care Delivery System

The alterations in the concentrations of the greenhouse gas have changed the climate around the globe triggering a myriad health concerns and consequences. Some of the environmental impacts from climate change, for instance, rising sea levels, heat waves, hurricanes and degraded quality of air has indirectly or directly impacted on the social, physical and psychological health of human beings (McMichael 1344). The health delivery system has, therefore, been burdened with the responsibility of catering for an increased number of patients suffering from health complications related to climate change.

Works Cited

McMichael, Anthony J. "Globalization, climate change, and human health." New England Journal of Medicine 368.14 (2013): 1335-1343.

Portier, Christopher J., et al. "A human health perspective on climate change: a report outlining the research needs on the human health effects of climate change." Journal of Current Issues in Globalization 6.4 (2013): 621.

Watts, Nick, et al. "Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health." The Lancet 386.10006 (2015): 1861-1914.

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