Environmental Protection, p. 10

That’s three times more deaths than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence.  Children are at high risk of pollution-related disease and even extremely low-dose exposures to pollutants during windows of vulnerability in utero and in early infancy can result in disease, disability, and death in childhood and across their lifespan. Despite its substantial effects on human health, the economy, and the environment, pollution has been neglected, especially in low-income and middle-income countries, added the report. It said air quality improvements in the high-income countries have not only reduced deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease but have also yielded substantial economic gains. In the U.S., an estimated $30 in benefits have been returned to the economy for every dollar invested in air pollution control, the report stated. Click here for news account.

 

Polluted air may boost bone fracture risk

Poor air quality may be a modifiable risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures, especially among people living in low-income communities, according to a newly published analysis of data from two independent studies. In one study, researchers documented higher rates of hospital admissions for bone fractures in communities exposed to elevated levels of ambient particulate matter air pollution in an analysis of data on more than nine million Medicare enrollees. In another 8-year follow-up of approximately 700 middle-age, low-income adults participating in a bone health study, participants living in areas with relatively high levels of particulate matter and black carbon vehicle emissions had lower levels of a key calcium and bone-related hormone and greater decreases in bone mineral density than participants exposed to lower levels of these air pollutants.  Click here for the published research.

 

Report ties climate warming to human activities

The U.S. government has released this authoritative assessment of the science of climate change that concludes “it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence. In addition to warming, many other aspects of global climate are changing, primarily in response to human activities. Thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapor.” The report adds: “Temperature and precipitation extremes can affect water quality and availability, agricultural productivity, human health, vital infrastructure, iconic ecosystems and species, and the likelihood of disasters. Some extremes have already become more frequent, intense, or of longer duration, and many extremes are expected to continue to increase or worsen, presenting substantial challenges for built, agricultural, and natural systems. Some storm types such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms are also exhibiting changes that have been linked to climate change, although the current state of the science does not yet permit detailed understanding.”

 

Climate change’s impact on tribal health

“Climate and Health” is one of the Tribal Public and Environmental Health Think Tank’s six tribal health priority issues, along with Food sovereignty and access; Infrastructure and systems development; Resource extraction; Clean air; and Clean water...continue

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