Message from the Center Director
I recently listened to a webinar hosted by the American Lung Association titled “State of the Air 2019.” I wasn’t surprised to hear that “climate change is fueling wildfires and weather patterns that are making air quality worse.” From the report:
"Our 20th annual national 'report card' on outdoor air quality finds that more than four in 10 Americans live with unhealthy air, putting them at risk for serious health effects like lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage and premature death. This year’s report spotlights the increasing role that the changing climate plays in worsening air quality across the nation, placing health and lives at risk. The “State of the Air” 2019 finds that eight cities suffered their most polluted air ever recorded and sounds the alarm for telling Congress and the Trump administration that we all must do more to fight climate change. Read more and learn how you can help.
Four in 10. That’s how many of us are at risk for early death, simply by breathing. Not to mention the millions of school and work days missed due to asthma-related illness. This is serious stuff!
What Can Health Care Workers Do?
Apply the Learn One - Do One - Teach One Model
• Learn about the health impacts of climate change and what you can do. The opportunities for this are truly awesome and there are some really great resources out there. I’ve shared a few below, but please don’t stop there. If you find something great, please share it with us!
• Do it! Implement one or more clean energy and living solutions into your personal and/or professional life. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start here.
• Teach it to (or just Talk About It with) your friends, family, patients, and neighbors, sharing what you’ve learned and how it is working in your life. Listen to them, connect by expressing values that you share (keeping our babies healthy, swimming at the local watering hole, sitting around a campfire, neighborhood BBQs, spending time with loved ones, being overwhelmed by the chaotic pace of the world right now), then match it to climate change.
Opportunities to Learn, Do, and Teach:
• Listen to the webinar: Air Quality, Asthma, and the EPA Air Quality Flag Program: Nurses Addressing Children's Health.
• The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments discusses how climate changes health.
• The American Lung Association is full of great information and opportunities to learn about air quality and its effect on lung health .
• American Public Health Association
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• World Health Organization
Patrice K. Nicholas
Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health