The White House warns that climate change will continue to bring about negative health impacts to Americans and will lead to more deaths due to intense heat and flooding, based on its report released June 6.
The report is part of the federal government’s campaign to promote its new standards limiting carbon pollution, which was released this week by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Through common-sense measures to cut carbon pollution we can protect the health of our nation, while stimulating the economy and helping to prevent the worst impacts of climate change,” the White House states.
The new campaign to cut carbon pollution is considered an important component of the Climate Action Plan put forward by President Barack Obama in 2013. Obama’s plan is also a move to help prepare the nation for the detrimental impacts of climate change and to continue the leadership of the United States in international efforts to fight off global climate change.
The White House report elaborates that climate change is primarily caused by carbon pollution and is threatening the health and welfare of Americans in numerous ways, from increasing the risk of asthma attacks, allergies and other respiratory conditions to altering the extent of some vector-borne diseases. Those diseases would include illnesses caused by bites from mosquitoes, fleas, lice, biting flies and bugs and blood-sucking arachnids such as mites and ticks.
In fact, the U.S. government says the ratio of asthma-stricken Americans has more than doubled, putting residents at greater risk of landing in hospitals.
Meanwhile, vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile virus and Lyme are also threatening Americans. In 2012 alone, more than 30,000 reported cases of Lyme disease were estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Diseases extended by pests, including mosquitoes and tick, are said to be influenced by climate change, too.
The report also states that cases of extreme heat are increasing in the U.S. in terms of duration, intensity and frequency, with over 7,800 heat-related deaths recorded in the country from 1999 to 2009.
"As climate change causes temperatures to continue to rise, heat waves are expected to become more frequent and severe in the coming decades," says the report.
Particular people and communities were also identified as being especially vulnerable to the detrimental health effects of climate change, such as the elderly, children, poor people, people with chronic illnesses and communities of color.
The government also asks everyone to participate in combating climate change and the harm it may bring.
“The president believes we have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not irrevocably polluted or damaged. While no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we must take steady, responsible action to cut carbon pollution, protect our children’s health, and begin to slow the effects of climate change so that we leave behind a cleaner, more stable environment,” says the White House in its report.
The full White House report titled The Health Impacts Of Climate Change On Americans can be read here.