The Vermont Public Health Association (VtPHA) recognizes the connection between climate change and human health. There is clear evidence that Vermont’s climate has been changing during the last 50 years; mean winter temperatures have risen 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and mean summer temperatures have risen 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Anticipated changes also include earlier snow melt and heavier summer rains. Warming will occur through the next century even with significant reductions in new emissions.
Continued climate change will have serious ramifications for human health. The health effects of climate change are likely to be negative, impacting social and environmental determinants of health including clean air, safe drinking water, housing, employment, and transportation. Key climate-related health risks that may affect our region include increased heat-related morbidity and mortality, increased allergic sensitization, respiratory illness, and cardiovascular illness, increased occurrence of water-borne and food-borne illness, and increased transmission of insect-borne diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile virus, and Lyme Disease.
The public health and health care systems will be central to the response to any climate-related disaster. In light of these risks, VtPHA supports:
About the association
VtPHA is a membership organization which facilitates collaboration among people who care about public health and are interested in protecting and promoting the health of Vermont residents.
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