News

    Rising Temperatures, Rising Health Problems

    A Tuareg woman walks during a sandstorm in Ingal, Niger, September 18, 2011. Scientists say such storms could increase with climate change.
    A Tuareg woman walks during a sandstorm in Ingal, Niger, September 18, 2011. Scientists say such storms could increase with climate change.
    Joe DeCapua

    Scientists say the effects of climate change could actually make breathing more difficult for many people. They expect rising temperatures to bring an increase in cases of asthma and allergies, as well as infectious and cardiovascular diseases.

    Study co-author, professor Kent Pinkerton,Lun said rising temperatures bring a host of conditions that can adversely affect people’s health. For example, ozone levels may rise in urban areas. There may be more wildfires emitting smoke and soot. Desertification could increase and create more dust. There may also be a lot more pollen. And disease carrying insects and animals may be more prevalent.

    “Our greatest concern really centered around the fact that many of the pulmonary physicians and respiratory professionals are really not very well aware of the fact that climate change has an important impact on their patients,” he said.

    A lot worse than a runny nose

    Pinkerton has some bad news for allergy sufferers about pollen.

    “Those who suffer from allergies may actually be finding that that season that impacts on their health and on their allergies is becoming longer,” he said.

    However, he added the effects can be much worse than coughing, sneezing, watery eyes or a runny nose.

    “Those are the symptoms that people most note. But we’re also seeing that individuals who may already have a pre-existing respiratory condition or even a cardiovascular condition are also being affected by these. Some of these conditions might simply be an exacerbation of an asthmatic condition. Or some issues where particles are actually producing cardiovascular complications in the form of arrhythmias among individuals or irregular heartbeat. Or changes that may actually lead to stroke or myocardial infarction,” he said.

    Myocardial infarction is commonly known as a heart attack.

    Pinkerton is a professor of pediatrics at the University of California Davis School of Medicine. He calls on the World Health Organization, governments and others to approve public health measures to protect vulnerable populations. These include infants, children and the elderly.

    Illnesses on the move

    “We’re now beginning to see some infections and some vector borne diseases in different areas of the world that we’ve never seen before. For example, diseases that have commonly been found within the Mediterranean are now being seen as far north as the Scandinavian countries. We’ve also seen some issues about mold that typically was only found within Mexico and Central America that are now as far north as British Columbia in Canada,” he said.

    The study on climate change and health was written by a 10 member committee, including members from Africa, Europe, Asia, India, the Middle East and the United States. It appears in the Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.