Effects of Climate Change on Human Health
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Keywords: climate change health effects, climate change health
Climate change has become a hot issue lately. 21st century has to face a new crisis that could have long term effects on the world as well as on human health. Climate change becomes a hot topic now because of things that human have been doing for the last 100 years have been increasing and can change the Earth climate. If there is no preventions, climate change could happen very fast than any in the last 1000 years. Climate change in many ways. Climate changes dramatic and rapid, some the result of the impacts from comets or asteroids (New England Aquarium, 2012). But today, human activities have become the main force causing climate to change rapidly. Climate change is not only about change to the weather. It could affects the environment that people, plants, and animals depend on. This means that climate change is not affect human only but it is about plants, animal, and all the other living and non-living things such as soil, rocks, oceans, and lakes. The melting of polar ice caps shows that human being needs to be concerned about climate change. The rising of sea level could damage the land and if it is occurs without any attention to stop it, human could lose their homes. The effects of climate change that have occurred could wake the people up about the importance to preserve the Earth. Scientists believe that climate change could increase the spreading of disease. Dissemination of diseases could lead to heat-related illnesses and even death. Extreme weather such as storms, could increase the risk of high winds, dangerous flooding, and direct threats to human being and property (United State Environmental Protection Agency, 2012). The number of people facing health problems caused by climate change will rise. Climate change not only causes damage to the Earth, it could also affect human health. Climate change can lead to mental health problems and stress-related disorders, asthma, respiratory allergies and airway diseases, and foodborne diseases and malnutrition.
Climate change could bring mental health problems and stress-related disorders. Mental health is a point of well-being in individual when he or she realizes his or her abilities, can work productively, can cope with the normal stresses of life, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. In certain cases, many mental health disorders can also lead to other chronic diseases and even death. Stress- related disorders comes from abnormal responses to acute or prolonged anxiety, and included diseases such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is been reported that 26.2 per cent of Americans over the age of 18 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year, 9.5 per cent suffer from mood disorders, and 6 per cent undergo serious mental illness (Environmental Health Perspectives and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 2010). In 2008, a boy is depressed and is admitted to the psychiatric unit at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne as he refusing to drink water because worrying about millions of people would die if he drink the water (Anthes, 2009). This situation shows that even climate change could lead to mental health problems and stress-related disorders. Some children also having terrible nightmares about global-warming-related natural disasters. Responsible persons should know their roles to prevent mental health problem on children before it is too late as they are too young to face climate change. Family members loss is also one of the cause that lead to mental health problems and stress-related disorders. Tornadoes and wildfires, floods, and droughts have caused mental suffering to people since time eternal (Ferris, 2012). Extreme events cause damage or loss of property, death or injury of loved ones, and last but not least the recovery efforts could also lead to stress.
Besides, climate change also could cause asthma, respiratory allergies, and airway diseases. A group of doctors said that climate change can lead to the variety of respiratory diseases (Koebler, 2012). Asthma is a chronic disease in which the airways of the lungs become inflamed or narrowed resulting in disruptions to normal breathing pattern. Asthma has become the second main cause of other chronic diseases affecting children. Asthma affects mostly five years old children. However, the frequency of asthma is highest among adults. This disease is dangerous as it could block the airways and end in death if action is not taken fast. Climate change threatens asthma in many ways. Higher temperatures caused by climate change increase certain greenhouse gases such as ozone, sulphur dioxide, and nitric oxide. Smog caused by minute particles from smoke stack emissions and diesel exhaust particles from vehicles create danger for people with respiratory illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis, as well as asthmatics (Scott, 2012). Ground level ozone which is a toxic component of smog causes asthma attacks and makes existing asthma become worse. Dust, soot, fly ash, and exhaust particles can become lodged in the lungs and also could trigger asthma attacks. Research have been made and shown that the number of hospitalisations for asthma has increases as the level of particulate matter rise (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2005). Air pollution also could lead to asthma, respiratory allergies, and airway diseases. Air pollution includes greenhouse gases that could cause global warming by trapping heat from the Sun in the Earth's atmosphere.
Climate change could cause foodborne diseases and malnutrition. Foodborne disease is a disease caused by consuming contaminated food or drink (MedicineNet.com, 2012). There are more than 250 known as foodborne diseases and most of them are caused by bacteria, parasites, and also viruses. Foodborne diseases spreading in many ways. First symptoms effect in gastrointestinal tract as all foodborne microbes and toxins enter the body (MedicineNet.com, 2012). High air temperature can boost cases of Salmonella and bacteria-related food poisoning as bacteria tends to grow rapidly in warm environments (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2012). These kind of diseases are dangerous as it could cause gastrointestinal distress and death. Heavy rainfall also can spread foodborne diseases by the overflows from sewage treatment plants into fresh water sources and finally effect certain food crops with pathogen-containing feces. Other diseases related with foodborne are Campylobacter, E. Coli, and Calcivirus. Malnutrition is the insufficient, excessive or imbalanced consumption of nutrients (Medical News Today, 2010). Climate change causes insufficient in food all over the world. Depletion of nutritionals food causing many mineral deficiency among people and in certain cases it could lead to death. Poor diet could lead to a vitamin or mineral deficiency and sometimes causing in scurvy, a disease where an individual has a vitamin C deficiency (Medical News Today, 2012). Scurvy still occur although it is a very rare disease. It affects elderly people, alcoholics, or people who live on a diet devoid of fresh fruits and vegetables. Beriberi is caused by lack of vitamin B1. This disease affects the nervous system (Elizabeth Quinn, 2008). Pellagra is also a disease related to malnutrition. It is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin B3. Rickets are caused by the deficiency of vitamin D, phosphorus, or calcium in body. People who are infected with this disease suffer from fragile bones, delayed growth, pain in bones, and muscle weakness (Elizabeth Quinn, 2008).
Climate change has many consequences and effects to the Earth and to humans. Climate change can lead to mental health problems and stress-related disorders. mental health problems not only effect adult but also among children. They tend to have nightmares about global-warming-related natural disasters. Family loss also one of the causes of mental health problems and stress-related disorders. Climate change leads to asthma, respiratory allergies, and airway diseases. Asthma is dangerous as it could block the airways and will lead to death if action is not taken fast. Dust, soot, fly ash, and exhaust particles are dangerous as they become lodged in the lungs and also could trigger asthma attacks. Asthma could attack anytime and anywhere. Precautions are needed for people who already suffer from asthma. Climate change decreases the production of foods on Earth. This situation could lead to foodborne diseases and malnutrition. Foodborne disease is a disease caused by consuming contaminated food or drink while malnutrition is the insufficient, excessive of imbalanced consumption of nutrients. Foodborne diseases mostly caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Diseases related to malnutrition are scurvy, Pellagra, and rickets. There are many ways to prevent climate change. Prevention is needed to save the Earth and secure a better place for human being. Human should walk, bike, take mass transit, or carpooling to reduce gas consumption that could lead to asthma. Recycle can saved up to 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide each year if people recycle half of his or her household waste (Earth911.com, 2007). Replacing a compact fluorescent from a regular light bulb could saves 150 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Turn off your television, computer, and other electronic devices when are not in use as it could save each household thousand of carbon dioxide every year. People can plant trees. Trees can absorb one tone of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. The most important way is by stay informed about the environmental issues (Earth911.com, 2007).
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