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Transcript of Health
Land and Health
GMOs: Genetically Modified Organisms
"outcompete" native species
engineered for herbicide resistance
long term health effects unknown
dependance of pesticides and fertilizers
Pesticides: prevents, destroys or kills any pest
2007: US applied 684 millions pounds of pesticides
remain in environment (soil, water) for very long time
DDT banned in 1972-99% Americans test positive for DDT degradants
found in food, air
Fertilizers: applied to supply nutrients
Organic vs. Inorganic
50-70% all nutrients reaching surface water originate on agricultural land as fertilizer or animal waste
Air quality is determined by an Air Quality Index which calculates the prevalence of five major pollutants in the air
Climate change affects air quality
Affects of poor air quality on human health:
Higher incidence of heart problems, increase cancer risk, decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, imcreased respiratory symptoms
Those with lung or heart disease, young children, and the elderly are at increased risk
Air Quality and Health
Main sources of air pollution in NC: Transportation sector, coal burning power plants, paper mills, and industrial facilities
NC ranks 8th in the country for our high levels of toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Smog: caused by a chemical reaction of certain pollutants in the atmosphere
Smog occurs most frequently on hot, sunny, days
Sits over cities, towns and regions.
Ozone smog forms when pollution from vehicles, factories, and other sources reacts with sunlight and heat.
Reduces plant health and productivity
Charlotte made it in the top ten for cities with bad air days (heavy smog) in 2011
The Triad, the triangle, and the Hickory-Morganton areas
Smog, Particulate Matter, Ozone and Asthma
Place to dispose of waste material
Municipal Solid Waste Landfill
Construction and Demolition Landfill
Air pollution: gases emitted from degrading waste
Groundwater pollution: leachates (liquid that leaches from a landfill) contaminate soil and groundwater
Hazardous materials are spilled/buried
End up in air, groundwater or contaminating the soil
Common Sources: Lead paint, pesticides, treated lumber, petroleum spills, fertilizers, landfills
White Street Landfill, Greensboro
Can be directly emitted from sources such as forest fires, or they can form when gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles react in the air.
dust, dirt, soot, or smoke
Ozone smog and particulate soot can affect health even on days when an air pollution alert is not in effect.
Especially true for people who live or work near busy roadways.
Negative effects dominate positive effects
Extreme weather, weeds, pests, soil salinization, tropospheric ozone, soil erosion
"The absolute limit of crop tolerance in all regions is a temperature increase of 3.0 degrees C."
Obesity vs. Malnutrition
“Close to a billion people - one-eighth of the world's population - still live in hunger. Each year 2 million children die through malnutrition. This is happening at a time when doctors in Britain are warning of the spread of obesity. We are eating too much while others starve.” -Jonathan Sacks
NC Obesity Rate: 29.6%
One in every four children in NC is food insecure
Climate change affects all aspects of life- especially health.
Social and Environmental determinants of health are impacted- clean air, safe water, sufficient food and shelter.
Global warming has cost so many deaths and so many dollars- 2-4 million a year for health costs.
Diseases, Food, Temperature, Water and Land are all affected by Climate Change.
Certain groups of people are primarily affected the worst by climate change.
Young Children, the Poor, the Older Adults, and Developing Countries are least able to cope.
Countries that Emit the most pollution, feel the least affects of climate change.
Health is declining as our planet changes.
Over the last 50 years, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases have been emitted into the atmosphere through human activities.
The world has warmed 0.75 degrees Celsius over the last 100 years, the rate of global warming has accelerated .18 degrees celsius.
Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, precipitation patterns are changing and extreme weather events are becoming more intense--and frequent
Climate's Role in Health
Warmer temps increase heat related illness and death.
increases severity and frequency of extreme weather events.
Increased concentrations of unhealthy air and water pollutants.
Heat waves due to Global temperature rising, lead to heat stroke and dehydration.
Most common cause of weather related deaths.
Rising temperatures increase likelihood of droughts, food shortages and forest fires.
"Urban Heat Island"
Temperatures in cities are typically a few degrees warmer than rural areas.
Increases demand for electricity for air conditioning, which would increase air pollution and greenhouse gases from factories.
-Especially severe in large metropolitan areas.
"A recent assessment of the science suggests that increase in heat related deaths due to climate change would outweigh decreases in deaths from cold snaps"
USGCRP (2009). Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
Study co-author, professor Kent Pinkerton,Lun said rising temperatures bring a host of conditions that can adversely affect people’s health. For example, ozone levels may rise in urban areas. There may be more wildfires emitting smoke and soot. Desertification could increase and create more dust. There may also be a lot more pollen. And disease carrying insects and animals may be more prevalent.
North Carolina experienced in 2011:
Record-breaking heat in 28 counties and a total of 54 broken heat records
Record-breaking rainfall in 14 counties and a total of 18 broken rainfall records
Record-breaking snow in 4 counties and a total of 4 broken snowfall records
Multi-million dollar losses from hurricane damage
There's no doubt that climate change is happening and that it is impacting our world.
-Not only is it getting hotter, but air quality, disease, and water is affected by it too.
D0 - Abnormally Dry
Statewide Wildfire Summary
Period # Fires # Acres
August 4, 2014 0 0.0
Month to date 0 0.0
Year to date 3,597 11,296.4
10yr avg, Jan-Aug 3,454 20,913.0
10yr avg, 2004-2013 4,542 25,137.0
Additional data: Daily Fire Occurrance Summary (PDF)
Increasingly changing patterns affect supply of fresh water.
Compromises hygiene and increases risk for diseases.
Can cause severe drought or flooding.
Scholarly articles suggest that climate change is shifting precipitation in two ways.
1- Strengthening of current patterns. "Wet get wetter, Dry get Drier"
2- Change in Storm Tracks.
Sea Level Rise
Currently about 3mm per year.
NOAA- "this is a significantly larger rate than the sea-level rise averaged over the last several thousand years", and the rate may be increasing.
More than half of the world's population lives within 60 km of the sea.
As climate changes, rainfall patterns change, and storms persist, hydrological cycles are shifting.
Flooding is a result and the dangers to health include:
death and injury, contaminated drinking water, hazardous material spills, increased populations of disease-carrying insects and rodents, moldy houses, and community disruption and displacement.
Creates Breeding Grounds for disease carrying insects.
Diseases from Compromised Water
A range of health risks from lack of safe fresh water include diarrhoeal disease and vector borne diseases.
Vector Born Disease
Change in Incubation period is caused by precipitation and temperature- rising temperatures and fluctuating patterns of precipitation increase risk and alters transmission.
Increase of temp. and precipitation increase vectors where they normally live.
Disruption and Movement of Population can expand amount and distribution of pathogens and exposure.
A decline in biodiversity alters predator prey relationships- decline in vector predators increase vector population.
The most common vector born diseases in NC are carried by ticks and mosquitoes.
Tick born illnesses most often seen in the state are: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme Disease, and Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI).
Mosquito born illnesses most often seen in the state are: La Crosse Encephalitis, West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Human Activities Pollute Water
Bacteria amd Nitrates, CAFO'S, Heavy Metals, Fertilizers and Pesticides, Industrial Products and Wastes are included.
Human activities such as using fertilizer in a farm can contaminate water through runoff which could lead to eutrophication, harmful algal blooms can also occur through excess nutrients.
Guilford, Davidson and Catawba county have been found to be in non-attainment of the federal standard for fine particles.
In December, 2011 all three counties were designated “attainment/maintenance”, however, a new standard announced in December, 2012 means that the state will review recent fine particulate levels to determine if any counties fail to meet the stronger standard.
Rising temperatures can make smog pollution worse and increase the number of "bad air days" when it's hard to breathe.
Pollen and other aeroallergen levels are higher in extreme heat
In 2008, it was estimated that about 900,00 adults and children in North Carolina had asthma
An Overview of Strategies
In 2009, the World Health Assembly endorsed a new WHO workplan on climate change and health. This includes:
to raise awareness that climate change is a fundamental threat to human health.
to coordinate with partner agencies within the UN system, and ensure that health is properly represented in the climate change agenda.
Science and evidence:
to coordinate reviews of the scientific evidence on the links between climate change and health, and develop a global research agenda.
Health system strengthening:
to assist countries to assess their health vulnerabilities and build capacity to reduce health vulnerability to climate change
Advocacy and Partnerships
Identifying at-risk populatins
Education: everyone should know the risks that climate change poses, how to prevent these risks, and how to face them
Ex. Maryland's plan to identify areas most at risk, to improve alert and public educations systems, and to work to reduce pollutant emissions.
Engage at-risk populations in advocacy efforts to influence climate change related policy, system, and environmental changes
Partnerships: Key players representing the public's interest must come together with engagement of the public
Ex. In 2006 the NC departments of Transportation, Commmerce, Environment and Natural Resources, and Health and Human Services worked together to prevent chronic disease
Land and Food
Community education on proper waste disposal
Incentives such as Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) programs
Addressing the inequitable distribution of waste
Consumer choice (GMO, organic)
Reduced use of fertilizer
Air and Temperature
Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health.
Consumer choice (ex. purchasing a car with a high fuel efficiency)
Incentives to reduce energy use
Carbon taxes on the use of fossil fuels
Reduce emissions to prevent temperature increase and sea level rise
Town/city planning to avoid flooding
Preventative measures to reduce erosion
reducing fertilizer use
keeping trees in place/planting trees
Properly disposing of hazardous or toxic waste rather than dumping into water
Health System Strengthening
Increase health literacy
Engage patients in their care
Representation in advisory councils
Identify at risk populations
Disaster preparedness programs