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Climate Change Could Undo Global Children’s Health Gains, Study Finds
In the past 25 years, the world has made major progress improving child health and reducing child mortality. But all that hard work could be undone by climate change, a study published in Pediatrics Tuesday warned.
Pediatricians Dr. Kevin Chan of Memorial University and Dr. Rebecca Pass Philipsborn of the Emory University School of Medicine found that 88 percent of the disease burden associated with climate change would fall on children's shoulders, CNN reported Tuesday.
"The basic message is that climate change is occurring, and I think it disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations, and that includes children," Chan told CNN.
The article noted that major changes to the global climate are projected to occur within the lifetime of current pediatrics patients, but this isn't just a problem for the near future.
"We already have seen the impacts," Chan told CNN.
As examples, Chan cited the health impacts on children caught up in heat waves or more intense storms like Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey and Irma.
Chan also mentioned the spread of the Zika virus, which some studies have linked to climate change. Zika disproportionately impacts children because it can cause an incurable birth defect called microcephaly that causes babies to be born with undersized heads and underdeveloped brains.
Director of the program on climate and health at George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication Dr. Mona Sarfaty, who was not involved with the research, told CNN that her experience supported its conclusions.
"Children suffer more heat impacts because they spend more time outside. They are more vulnerable to the heat-related increases in air pollution that come from fossil fuel exhaust, because their lungs are still developing. Outdoor play also makes them more prey to insect vectors carrying dangerous infections," Sarfaty said. "The doctors in our societies are seeing these problems today, and they will undoubtedly get worse if we don't decisively address climate change," she added.
In addition to air pollution, heat and the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes, the study found that climate change could put children at greater risk from malnutrition, as weather extremes impact food production, and from water-borne infections causing diarrhea, which can also spread in higher temperatures.
The study cited research by the Word Health Organization (WHO), also cited by EcoWatch, that projected that climate change could lead to 95,000 deaths due to childhood malnutrition and 48,000 deaths of children under 15 due to diarrhea by 2030.
Chan thought the study indicated a need for more research into how climate change impacts children specifically.
"A lot of the research is very, very broad and tends to look more at adult populations. I don't think they factor in the specific impacts on children themselves, and I think more research is needed in that arena," Chan told CNN. "We really need more efforts into addressing climate change to protect our children," he said.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."