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Climate Change Can Impact Health[Part_1]

Climate change can impact health in various ways. Here in Springfield, the main problem is ground level ozone. In this segment of KSMU's Climate Change Series, Michele Skalicky talks with health officials about ground level ozone and about other health problems that climate change can cause. Climate Change has received a lot of attention lately, and likely will continue to do so in the months and years ahead. The American Public Health Association has begun an effort to educate the public about the link between climate change and health. The APHA's executive director Dr. Georges Benjamin says there's a great deal of concern that climate change is going to significantly impact our health. Because of that, the APHA has released a blueprint for combating the health impacts of climate change...


According to Dr. Benjamin, climate change is already impacting our health. For instance, we're seeing increasing amounts of drought and more extreme weather...


Those include vector one diseases, things that are carried by mosquitoes and rodents. And, according to Dr. Benjamin, certain population groups are at risk...


He hopes people will pay attention to the most vulnerable—the very young, the elderly and those with a low socio-economic status—and find ways to help them throughout this process.

The Blueprint, he says, can help in that area and many others. It's a public health document that's poised to do 2 things...


Those include education and outreach, research, advocacy, supporting best practices and encouraging people to adopt healthy behaviors. He says public health professionals are uniquely positioned to lead the way in addressing the health impacts of climate change.

Kevin Gipson, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, says his organization is already involved in the effort to address climate change and its impact on health. He points to the department's focus on reducing ground level ozone...


Gipson says little things can make a difference—like filling up your gas tank when ozone levels are low, mowing your yard in the morning and evening rather than in the heat of the day and buying more energy-efficient appliances.

And, he says, one person can make a difference...


To learn more about the APHA's blueprint for combating the health impacts of climate change, go to

For KSMU News, I'm Michele Skalicky.