Climate Change May Increase Human Health Problems

Global warming could lead to a rise in human health problems due to exposure to
harmful air pollutants, according
to researchers
in a study published in the journal Environmental Health

The reviewers looked at how a changing climate changes
ground-level ozone, a known lung irritant that affects tissues and respiratory

According to the
, exposure to elevated levels of ozone is associated with increased
hospital admissions for a range of respiratory issues including asthma,
pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"Projections suggest that climate change
will increase concentrations of tropospheric ozone, at least in high-income
countries, when precursor emissions are held constant, which would increase
morbidity and mortality," review authors Kristie L. Ebi and Glenn McGregor

"The potential impact of climate change on ozone concentrations
have not been projected for low-income countries, many of which currently have
significantly higher ozone exposures.”

"As we reduce vehicle-based emissions of pollutants, urban
concentrations of ozone will also be reduced, thereby positively protecting the
health of humans for generations to come,” said the journal’s editor-in-chief
Hugh A. Tilson.

The World Health
also asserts that climate and weather have powerful direct and
indirect impacts on human life.

Published: December 30, 2008