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Lung conditions will be made worse by climate change, say researchers

2 min read

Respiratory experts are calling on governments to reduce emissions and improve air quality, reports Danny Halpin in the Independent.

In a nutshell:

Respiratory experts have issued a stark warning about the profound threat that climate change and air pollution pose to individuals with lung conditions. They emphasize the urgent need for action to combat climate change and reduce air pollution. The impacts of climate change, including rising temperatures, altered weather patterns, increased allergens, wildfires, and air pollution from fossil fuels, worsen respiratory conditions and can even lead to new ones. Air pollution, linked to both greenhouse gases and health risks, was responsible for 6.7 million global deaths in 2019, with 373,000 occurring in Europe. These experts call for the European Union to align its air quality standards with those of the World Health Organization, advocating for stricter limits on fine particles and nitrogen dioxide. They underscore that addressing climate change and reducing emissions would yield substantial and immediate health benefits, particularly benefiting respiratory patients who are among the most vulnerable.

Key quote:

Professor Zorana Jovanovic Andersen of the University of Copenhagen and an author of the report said: “Climate change affects everyone’s health, but arguably, respiratory patients are among the most vulnerable.

“These are people who already experience breathing difficulties and they are far more sensitive to our changing climate. Their symptoms will become worse, and for some this will be fatal.”

The big picture:

The burning of fossil fuels, a significant source of air pollution, carries potential health consequences worth examining. Exposure to air pollution stemming from fossil fuel combustion can result in various adverse health effects. Long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with chronic diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heightened risks of heart ailments, including heart attacks and strokes. Children are particularly vulnerable due to their developing lungs, potentially setting the stage for lifelong health challenges.

Read the article at the Independent.

Meanwhile, as the nation’s oil and gas output reaches record highs, new research shows that the harms from this boom go well beyond cranking up global temperatures.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

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