Climate and Health
APHA works to build understanding and awareness of the public health implications of climate change - from effects on drinking water supplies, to changes in vector-borne diseases to extreme weather events. Strong climate change strategies and interventions that protect people's health are needed and the public health community plays a critical role.
APHA has worked at the intersections of climate change and public health, with a particular focus on the adverse effects on vulnerable populations, since National Public Health Week in 2008, which had a theme of Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance. From 2009 through 2012, APHA hosted a climate and health webinar series in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Environmental Health Association, and the Society for Public Health Education.
In 2011, APHA released Climate Change: Mastering the Public Health Role a guidebook based on six webinar presentations to serve as a useful tool for preparing public health practitioners for the challenges of climate change.
APHA advocates climate change policies that protect and promote public health. APHA also advocates for transportation policies that benefit health and the environment. APHA makes the connection between transportation choices and climate change and supports the public health community in its climate change - related prevention and response activities.
The third National Climate Assessment was released in May 2014. This edition of the report is the first to establish the undeniable correlation between climate change and human health, while addressing key concerns and the need for action. The assessment found many ways climate change presents a growing threat to our nation's health including extreme weather events. wildfire, decreased air quality, insect-borne diseases, impacted food and water and even our mental health. These changes affect every region of our nation and without intervention will cause irreparable damage to all Americans -especially children, the elderly, the sick, the poor and other vulnerable communities.