Sunday, June 26, 2016

Changing climate conditions in Michigan pose an emerging public health threat

Public Release: 25-Apr-2016
Changing climate conditions in Michigan pose an emerging public health threat
University of Michigan

Changing climate conditions--including warmer temperatures and an increased frequency of heavy rainstorms--represent "an emerging threat to public health in Michigan," according to a new report from university researchers and state health officials.


Based on current climate trends in Michigan and projections for the next few decades, the authors identified five health topics of concern for Michigan residents:

Respiratory diseases. Projected conditions favor increased air pollution and worsening respiratory disease. An earlier and longer growing season for plants could increase pollen levels, which in turn could exacerbate allergies and asthma.
Heat-related illnesses. Heat waves featuring high temperatures, high humidity and stagnant air masses could become more common and may lead to increased levels of heat-related illness and death.
Water-borne diseases. Across the Upper Midwest, extreme precipitation events have become more intense and more frequent over the past century. In coming decades, intense precipitation events and flooding are projected to stay the same or increase. Runoff from sewage and septic systems will remain a problem, potentially increasing the risk of water-borne diseases and, in some cases, harmful algal blooms.
Vector-borne diseases. Projections point to warmer winters, earlier springs and warmer summers, conditions suitable for mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and tick-carried diseases such as Lyme disease.
Carbon monoxide poisoning and weather-related injuries. Weather-related power outages are likely to increase, especially in the winter, leading to increased use of generators and related cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. An increased frequency of freezing rain and flooding will raise the risk of motor vehicle accidents and other types of injuries.


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