Doctors Warn Climate Change Will Threaten Public Health

By: Tiffany Teasley Email
By: Tiffany Teasley Email

Local doctors call it the tipping point for a global climate crisis.

"There's going to be more lung cancer, there's going to be more asthma," said Sherri Moore, of the SEIU Nurse Alliance.

"It's a vicious cycle, one day our earth will not be a healthy place to live," said Sparrow Pediatric Pulmonologist, Dr. Autumn Clos.

That's why local nurses and doctors are just a few of hundreds across the state calling on Michigan's U.S. Senators to pass legislation, as did the U.S. House, to combat climate change that could cost lives.

"Diseases that could re-insert themselves in the the United States if we have significant climate change," said Dr. Dean Sienko of the Ingham County Health Department.

"Some of these changes that we're already seeing would be happening, they're coming much earlier than we ever anticipated," Clos said.

The EPA reports that cases of childhood asthma have doubled in the past 20 years, Dr. Clos sees it firsthand.

"Michigan has a little bit higher levels of asthma than other states," Clos said.

The World Health Organization projects that climate linked disease tolls will double by 2030 if no action is taken, and experts say children and the elderly are the most at risk.

"Children are smaller, they breath faster, so they're breathing more of these pollutants," Clos said.

And here in Michigan they're predicting extreme heatwaves in the coming years, putting the low-income and elderly in the danger zone for death.

"Very serious heatwaves, we've seen these happen over the past 10 years, not only here locally but in other places around the country, and so we have to be aware of this and we have to address this," Sienko said.


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