A Health Professionals' Declaration on Climate Change | American Lung Association

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A Health Professionals' Declaration on Climate Change

We, as public health and medical professionals, reiterate our commitment to address climate change on behalf of our patients and communities. We know that the health of every American is threatened by climate change. This statement articulates our agreement on the urgency of addressing climate change to protect human health.

  • The health impacts of climate change demand immediate action. Delay only undermines our success, and the longer we wait, the more lives will be affected.
  • The science is clear; communities across the nation are experiencing the health impacts of climate change, including:
    • Exacerbated ozone and particulate air pollution, linked to asthma attacks, cardiovascular disease and premature death;
    • Extreme weather patterns, such as heat and severe storms, that cause droughts, wildfires and flooding that destabilizes communities, especially those least equipped to defend themselves; and
    • Increased vector-borne diseases by expanding seasons and geographic ranges for ticks, mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects.
  • The most vulnerable—children, seniors, people with chronic disease, as well as those living in low income communities and some communities of color—disproportionately bear the health impacts of climate change.
  • Bold action is needed to address climate change by cleaning up major sources of carbon pollution, methane, and other greenhouse gases, including power plants and other industrial sources, and cars, trucks, and other mobile sources.
  • Communities must have the tools and resources to adapt to and mitigate the unique impacts of climate change in their communities.
  • Taking action to cut carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases will help the U.S. mitigate climate impacts, and lead the world in our global climate efforts.

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Signed

  • Samantha Ahdoot, MD, FAAP
    Inova Health Systems
  • John Balmes, MD
  • Georges C. Benjamin, MD
    Executive Director
    American Public Health Association
  • Norman H. Edelman, MD
    Senior Consultant for Scientific Affairs
    American Lung Association
  • Jennifer Lowry, MD, FAAP
    Chair, Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee
    American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP
    Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and of Environmental & Occupational Health
    George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health
  • Tim Takaro, MD, MPH, MS
    Member, Environmental Health Policy Committee
    American Thoracic Society
  • George Thurston, PHD
    Chair, Environmental Health Policy Committee
    American Thoracic Society

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