Health and Medical Professionals Across All 50 States Call for Action on Climate Change
(September 21, 2016) - WASHINGTON, D.C.
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Today, more than 1,300 health and medical experts from all 50 states issued a "Health Professionals' Declaration on Climate Change," which calls for swift action on climate change to protect public health. The Declaration highlights the support of the health and medical community for tackling climate change and details the dangerous consequences of inaction on the health of every American.
"We, as public health and medical professionals, reiterate our commitment to address climate change on behalf of our patients and communities," the Declaration states. "We know that the health of every American is threatened by climate change… the longer we wait, the more lives will be affected."
The signers called for cleaning up sources of carbon pollution, methane and other greenhouse gases—all major contributors to climate change—to protect health. Rising temperatures make the formation of unhealthy ozone pollution more likely and bring about changes in weather patterns that lead to increased particle pollution from droughts and wildfires.
Ozone and particle pollution can cause asthma attacks, cardiovascular problems and premature deaths. The country’s most vulnerable communities, including children, older adults, low-income communities and those with chronic diseases, are at greater risk of harm from these pollutants.
Research released earlier this year from the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the Climate and Health Assessment, warns that inaction on climate change will only contribute further to rising temperatures, heavy rain and drought, and other severe weather events. There is also the potential for areas previously unaffected by climate change to see new or worsening impacts and health threats.
"The broad support of medical experts across the country shows that not only is there momentum for action, but that this is imperative for the health of every American," said Albert Rizzo, M.D., FACP, FCCP, D'ABSM, Senior Medical Advisor to the American Lung Association. "We can take action to mitigate the effects of climate change right now. We must do more to protect everyone’s health, and especially the most vulnerable members of our communities."
The release of the declaration comes one week before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear the case over the Clean Power Plan, West Virginia et al. v U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. The American Lung Association is an intervenor in support of the Clean Power Plan and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in this case.
As the health and medical community emphasized today in issuing its Declaration, taking steps now will help protect communities nationwide from the dangerous consequences of climate change. Families across the country can wait no longer.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.