Discussing Links Between Climate Change and Community Health

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Strategic Alliance Partnership | <b>American Lung Association</b>

An expert discussion on categorizing climate change and the impact it will have on health in communities across the globe.

In April, the American Lung Association released their 2021 State of the Air Report, a national data resource on air pollutants and pollution levels across the United States.

The most recent episode of Lungcast, hosted by Al Rizzo, MD, held a discussion on the intersection of air pollution, climate change and COVID-19.

Rizzo was joined by Poune Saberi, MD and Alan Greenglass, MD, from the Board of Physicians for Social Reponsibility (PSR) to discuss the larger intersections of health and climate.

Greenglass spoke on the links between climate-related weather effects, including climate change effects including flooding and water-borne infectious agents, and community health.

He noted the importance of categorizing climate change as a larger health issue, not just related to global warming.

"I think as scientists, we want to broaden that language that we use," Greenglass said. "To say it may be hotter in Northeast and in the Southwest, and in some places there is going to be drought, and in other places, it is going to be really cold, whereas it might not have been that bad in the past."

Saberi spoke on the infection-related challeneges that will occur as a result of the larger impact of climate change.

"Different parts of the United States and different parts of the globe will be impacted differently," Saberi said. "Where we live in the Northeast, it's going to get hotter and wetter. If that sounds like the ideal environment for infections diseases, like mosquitoes and vector-borne diseases, that's exactly right.

Saberi also discussed mental health impacts, in both direct and indirect ways, as a result of climate events.

Lungcast is a monthly podcast series from HCPLive and the ALA. Listen to the full episode here: