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Only Five States Have Plans to Address the Health Impact of Climate Change, New Report Finds
Date:10/26/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) released a new report today that finds only five states have published a strategic climate change plan that includes a public health response. This includes planning for health challenges and emergencies expected to develop from natural disasters, pollution, and infectious diseases as temperatures and sea levels rise.

The Health Problems Heat Up: Climate Change and the Public's Health report examines U.S. planning for changing health threats posed by climate change, such as heat-related sickness, respiratory infections, natural disasters, changes to the food supply, and infectious diseases carried by insects.

"The changing environment has serious ramifications for our health," said Jeff Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. "In the near future, more extreme weather events, rising temperatures, and worsening air quality mean we'll see an upswing in climate-related illnesses and injuries. As countries around the world work to address climate change, federal, state, and local governments around the United States need to ramp up activities to protect people from the health harms it poses."

"States are already overwhelmed by existing public health responsibilities, so we face a serious challenge as we see these new climate change related problems on the horizon. States and communities will need more resources to effectively plan and prepare for them," Levi continued.

The five states with public health response plans included in their larger climate change plans are California, Maryland, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Washington. Twenty-eight states have published strategic climate change plans that do not include a public health response, and seventeen states and the District of Columbia have not published a strategic climate change plan.

Other key findings from the report
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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