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

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  • Congress should provide funding for state and local health departments to conduct needs assessments and strategic planning for public health considerations of climate change;
  • The White House and the federal interagency working group on climate change should take into account the potential health implications of policies and programs under consideration;
  • Congress should increase support for tracking of environmental effects on health and research into health effects of climate change;
  • CDC should set national guidelines and measures for core public health functions related to climate change, and in exchange for federal funding for climate change planning and response, CDC should require states and localities to report the findings to both the public and the federal government;
  • All state and local health departments should include public health considerations as part of climate change plans, including conducting needs assessments, developing strategic plans, and creating public education campaigns; and
  • Special efforts must be made to address the impact of climate change on at-risk and vulnerable communities.

The U.S. Senate is in the process of developing comprehensive climate change legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a climate change bill that includes language to direct the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a national strategic action plan to assist health professionals to prepare for and respond to the impact of climate change on public health in the United States and globally. The House bill also includes a Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Fund to provide the funds needed to develop and carry out the strategic plan.

The full Health Problems Heat Up report, including state-specific information, is available on TFAH's web site www.healthyamericans.org. The rep
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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