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Climate Change and Human Health
Elena Grossman, MPH
BRACE-Illinois Program Manager
UIC School of Public Health
Credit: NASA, Global temperatures in 2100 based on historic temperatures & GHG emissions
Chicago, IL 2013
Madison, WI 2018
South Bend, IN 2016
Gurnee, IL 2017
Cincinnati, OH 2018
Houghton, MI 2018
Yale Program on Climate Change Communication:
Opinion Maps, 2016
Estimated % of adults who think global
warming is happening
Estimated % of adults who think global
warming will harm them personally
http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2016/?est=happening&type=value&geo=county
HEAT
FLOODS,
HURRICANES
WILDFIRES
DROUGHTS
AIR
POLLUTION
VECTORS
CLIMATE CHANGE:
TEMPERATURE RISE
SEA LEVEL RISE
Heat stress, harmful algal blooms
Mold, injuries, fatalities,
waterborne diseases, carbon
monoxide poisoning, trauma,
harmful algal blooms
Injuries, fatalities, respiratory,
trauma
Water quality, trauma, food supply
Allergies, asthma, respiratory
Vectorborne diseases: el virus del
Nilo Occidental, enfermedad de
Lyme, encephalitis, Rocky
Mountain Spotted Fever
*Overwhelmed medical systems
Health effects in US
Adapted from J Patz
HEAT
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml
Clinical spectrum of heat stress illness
Syndrome Features
Heat rash Erythematous papules or macules
Heat cramps Muscle cramps
Heat exhaustion Elevated temperature, warm/hot skin,
sweating, lucid
Heat syncope Fainting due to heat and dehydration
Heat stroke High temperature (>103 F)
*Altered mental status*
High fatality rate
Persistent cognitive deficits in survivors
Urban Heat Island Effect
Higher Risk for Heat Hospitalizations in Rural Counties
Risk factors of hospitalization for heat-related illnesses, United
State 2001–2010
Schmeltz MT, et al. (2015)
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118958
Jajai et al, 2017
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12940-017-0245-1
Heat hospitalization rates in IL, 1987-1994
Climate
FLOODS
What does rising temperatures have to do with
precipitation?
Higher temperatures
More evaporation from lakes, oceans
Warmer air can hold more moisture
Heavier
precipitation
• Mold; respiratory
health
• Waterborne diseases
• Injuries
• Property damage
• Mental health (stress
of event, property
damage,
displacement)
Public Health Implications from Floods
Damage in a home from floods in Lake County, IL July 2017
51% of waterborne disease outbreaks in US
preceded by precipitation events, 1948-1994
Curriero et al. 2001
RESPIRATORY
HEALTH
Air pollution deaths
4.2 million deaths every year as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution
(WHO https://www.who.int/airpollution/en/)
105,616
Source: National Health Interview Survey, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention
Current Asthma Prevalence Percent by Age, Sex, and
Race/Ethnicity, United States, 2016
National Climate Assessment: http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/
Asthma and Allergens
•Longer hay fever
season, more ragweed
in the air
•Warmer temperatures
are lasting longer and
more precipitation
•Rise in heat and
humidity
Ozone Pollution
Image source: EPA
Wildfires
• Adverse chronic
and acute
cardiovascular and
respiratory health
• Injuries and
fatalities
• Irritated eyes and
impaired vision
• Psychological
distress
https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/8/
VECTORBORNE
DISEASES
Vectorborne Diseases: Changing geographic ranges
CDC, cited 2015: Lyme Disease: Data and Statistics: Maps- Reported Cases of Lyme Disease – United States, 2001-2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Climate change and geographic distribution: ticks & mosquitoes
Higher temperatures in
winter
• Area more suitable for ticks to survive
Higher temperatures
• Increase tick development and hatching rates
Increase in humidity and moisture • Increase tick survival
Higher temperatures in spring,
summer, and fall
• Accelerates tick lifecycle, which increases ticks’
survival to reproduce
• Accelerate the mosquito lifecycle, increase
mosquito biting rates, decrease the time needed for
a blood-fed mosquito to be able to pass on the virus
• More aquatic breeding sites for mosquitoesIncreased precipitation
Life Cycle of Blacklegged Ticks with Earlier Springs and Later Falls
HARMFUL
ALGAL
BLOOMS
Harmful algal blooms and health: Exposure to
cyanotoxins from cyanobacteria
• Skin, eye, nose, and throat
irritation
• Respiratory illness
• Gastrointestinal illness
• Possible carcinogen and/or
promote tumor growth
Routes of exposure to HAB
toxins:
• Skin contact – via activities like
swimming
• Inhalation – breathing in tiny
airborne droplets or mist
contaminated with HAB toxins
• Ingestion – eating or drinking
food or water contaminated
with HAB toxins
Routes of Exposure Health Effects
MENTAL
HEALTH
Mental Health: A concern after extreme
weather events
• A study of 815 people impacted by Katrina
• Common symptoms include the inability to stop thinking about the hurricane,
nightmares and emotional numbness.
• Equal opportunity disaster
Condition 5-8 months after Katrina 1 year after Katrina
Post Disaster Mental
Disorder
14.9% 20.9%
Serious mental illness 10.9% 14%
Suicidal Ideation 2.8% 6.4%
Suicidal Plans 1% 5%
Kessler et al, 2008
Thank you! Questions?
Elena Grossman
BRACE-IL Program Manager
UIC School of Public Health
egross5@uic.edu

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Workshop 1 - Elena Grossman

  • 1. Climate Change and Human Health Elena Grossman, MPH BRACE-Illinois Program Manager UIC School of Public Health Credit: NASA, Global temperatures in 2100 based on historic temperatures & GHG emissions
  • 2.
  • 3.
  • 4. Chicago, IL 2013 Madison, WI 2018 South Bend, IN 2016 Gurnee, IL 2017 Cincinnati, OH 2018 Houghton, MI 2018
  • 5. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication: Opinion Maps, 2016 Estimated % of adults who think global warming is happening Estimated % of adults who think global warming will harm them personally http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2016/?est=happening&type=value&geo=county
  • 6.
  • 7. HEAT FLOODS, HURRICANES WILDFIRES DROUGHTS AIR POLLUTION VECTORS CLIMATE CHANGE: TEMPERATURE RISE SEA LEVEL RISE Heat stress, harmful algal blooms Mold, injuries, fatalities, waterborne diseases, carbon monoxide poisoning, trauma, harmful algal blooms Injuries, fatalities, respiratory, trauma Water quality, trauma, food supply Allergies, asthma, respiratory Vectorborne diseases: el virus del Nilo Occidental, enfermedad de Lyme, encephalitis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever *Overwhelmed medical systems Health effects in US Adapted from J Patz
  • 10. Clinical spectrum of heat stress illness Syndrome Features Heat rash Erythematous papules or macules Heat cramps Muscle cramps Heat exhaustion Elevated temperature, warm/hot skin, sweating, lucid Heat syncope Fainting due to heat and dehydration Heat stroke High temperature (>103 F) *Altered mental status* High fatality rate Persistent cognitive deficits in survivors
  • 12. Higher Risk for Heat Hospitalizations in Rural Counties Risk factors of hospitalization for heat-related illnesses, United State 2001–2010 Schmeltz MT, et al. (2015) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118958 Jajai et al, 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12940-017-0245-1 Heat hospitalization rates in IL, 1987-1994
  • 14. What does rising temperatures have to do with precipitation? Higher temperatures More evaporation from lakes, oceans Warmer air can hold more moisture Heavier precipitation
  • 15. • Mold; respiratory health • Waterborne diseases • Injuries • Property damage • Mental health (stress of event, property damage, displacement) Public Health Implications from Floods Damage in a home from floods in Lake County, IL July 2017
  • 16.
  • 17. 51% of waterborne disease outbreaks in US preceded by precipitation events, 1948-1994 Curriero et al. 2001
  • 19. Air pollution deaths 4.2 million deaths every year as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution (WHO https://www.who.int/airpollution/en/) 105,616
  • 20. Source: National Health Interview Survey, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Current Asthma Prevalence Percent by Age, Sex, and Race/Ethnicity, United States, 2016
  • 21. National Climate Assessment: http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/ Asthma and Allergens •Longer hay fever season, more ragweed in the air •Warmer temperatures are lasting longer and more precipitation •Rise in heat and humidity
  • 23. Wildfires • Adverse chronic and acute cardiovascular and respiratory health • Injuries and fatalities • Irritated eyes and impaired vision • Psychological distress https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/8/
  • 25. Vectorborne Diseases: Changing geographic ranges CDC, cited 2015: Lyme Disease: Data and Statistics: Maps- Reported Cases of Lyme Disease – United States, 2001-2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • 26. Climate change and geographic distribution: ticks & mosquitoes Higher temperatures in winter • Area more suitable for ticks to survive Higher temperatures • Increase tick development and hatching rates Increase in humidity and moisture • Increase tick survival Higher temperatures in spring, summer, and fall • Accelerates tick lifecycle, which increases ticks’ survival to reproduce • Accelerate the mosquito lifecycle, increase mosquito biting rates, decrease the time needed for a blood-fed mosquito to be able to pass on the virus • More aquatic breeding sites for mosquitoesIncreased precipitation
  • 27. Life Cycle of Blacklegged Ticks with Earlier Springs and Later Falls
  • 29. Harmful algal blooms and health: Exposure to cyanotoxins from cyanobacteria • Skin, eye, nose, and throat irritation • Respiratory illness • Gastrointestinal illness • Possible carcinogen and/or promote tumor growth Routes of exposure to HAB toxins: • Skin contact – via activities like swimming • Inhalation – breathing in tiny airborne droplets or mist contaminated with HAB toxins • Ingestion – eating or drinking food or water contaminated with HAB toxins Routes of Exposure Health Effects
  • 30.
  • 32. Mental Health: A concern after extreme weather events • A study of 815 people impacted by Katrina • Common symptoms include the inability to stop thinking about the hurricane, nightmares and emotional numbness. • Equal opportunity disaster Condition 5-8 months after Katrina 1 year after Katrina Post Disaster Mental Disorder 14.9% 20.9% Serious mental illness 10.9% 14% Suicidal Ideation 2.8% 6.4% Suicidal Plans 1% 5% Kessler et al, 2008
  • 33.
  • 34.
  • 35. Thank you! Questions? Elena Grossman BRACE-IL Program Manager UIC School of Public Health egross5@uic.edu

Editor's Notes

  1. Maps show the increase in frequency of extreme daily precipitation events (a daily amount that now occurs once in 20 years) by the later part of this century (2081-2100) compared to the later part of last century (1981-2000).
  2. The key question is why does it matter that temperatures are rising? It matters because it is affecting many parts of our life. The one we are focusing on today is how it affects our health. Rising temperatures and sea levels are affecting environmental elements. These include more extreme weather events such as heat waves; floods; hurricanes; droughts; wildfires; and worsening air quality. These factors may also allow various vectors – such as mosquitoes and ticks – to live in places they previously couldn’t survive. These changes in our environment have health effects. They are expected to lead to more heat stress, flood and hurricane-related illnesses, water quality concerns, respiratory health problems, allergies, and various vector borne diseases such as Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  3. Floods impact public health in many ways. Property damage often includes mold growth that leads to respiratory health problems. Floodwaters can overwhelm the sewage treatment facilities contaminating drinking water. At farms with livestock, flood waters can bring bacteria from the animal waste to drinking water wells. As microorganisms enter the drinking water supply they can cause waterborne diseases. One study found that 51% of waterborne disease outbreaks in the US happened after an extreme rain event. Injuries are also common when people drive in floodwaters. Psychological distress as a result of being exposed to the trauma of a flood is also a health concern that must be addressed. The distress can result from being displaced, having to worry about the financial and sentimental impact of the property damage, or witnessing people in distress during the event itself. Finally, it is important to pay special attention to vulnerable populations, such as the elderly in nursing homes, during flooding events. Nursing home residents were especially impacted during and after Hurricane Katrina. They experienced a significant increase in mortality and hospitalization during Katrina.
  4. This figure shows how the length of ragweed pollen season changed at 11 locations in the central United States and Canada between 1995 and 2015. Red circles represent a longer pollen season; the blue circle represents a shorter season. Larger circles indicate larger changes.
  5. Populations exposed to ozone air pollution are at greater risk of dying prematurely, being admitted to the hospital for respiratory hospital admissions, being admitted to the emergency department
  6. Wildfires emit Trends in the annual number of large fires in the western United States for a variety of ecoregions. The black lines are fitted trend lines. Statistically significant at a 10% level for all regions except the Snake Plain/Columbian Plateau, Basin and Range, and Mediterranean California regions
  7. The changing geographic range of vectorborne diseases is another public health concern for Illinois. These two image shows where there were reported Lyme disease cases in 1996 and in 2012. Each blue dot represents a Lyme disease case. Over the 16 year-period you can see the geographic ranges spread north and west. In 1996, there were only a handful of cases in Illinois, but, by 2012, there is a dark blue section in northeastern Illinois and many more scattered cases in northwest, central, and east Illinois. The trend of warming temperatures is seemingly linked to vectors and the diseases they carry. As this trend continues, vectors, such as ticks and mosquitoes, will be able to live in environments that used to be too cold for them.
  8. NOAA image of algal bloom, eastern Lake Erie, summer 2011
  9. Toxic algae prefer warmer water Prevents water from mixing, allowing algae to grow thicker and faster. Algal blooms absorb sunlight, making water even warmer and promoting more blooms.
  10. Psychological distress is of particular concern following natural disasters and is often associated with all climate sensitive illnesses. A study conducted after Hurricane Katrina looked at the impact of the hurricane on 815 people, to investigate the mental health effects post hurricane. An important finding was that natural disasters not only lead to mental health problems but can continue to cause problems even after a year post- event. The rates for all the conditions increased from 5-8 months after Katrina to a year after Katrina. Another important finding is that there was no difference between race and socioeconomic groups. Exposure to a traumatic event does not discriminate and leads to psychological distress for all.