Climate change has contributed greatly to increasing human health problems. Not only adding sufferers to existing diseases, a changing climate also gives rise to new diseases.
Find out more about the risks and effects of climate change on human health through the following review.
Increased air pollution can pose a high risk to health. Higher levels of dust, ozone, and fine particulate matter in the air can degrade air quality and cause or worsen a variety of health problems, including:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cough and throat irritation
- Lung cancer risk
- Airway congestion
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
Air pollution in Indonesia itself is getting worse every year. The 2021 data published by IQAir concludes that Indonesia occupies the first position of the country with the worst air quality in Southeast Asia and 17th in the world. Some of the cities in Indonesia with the highest air pollution are Surabaya, Jakarta, and Bandung.
Extreme weather and natural disasters can give rise to various mental health problems. Among them are trauma, stress, or depression for the people affected. This may caused by forced evacuate, lost of their homes, injured, and even lost of those closest to them.
Researchers have found that natural disasters contribute to an increase in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and high levels of anxiety. Floods, heat waves, and forest fires can also cause these problems.
Extreme heat may also have a more significant effect on people with mental health disorders. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates are increasing due to higher temperatures.
According to the WHO, climate change is likely to lead to an increase in insect-borne and water-borne infections. This is related to climate change which can extend the period of a season when insects transmit infections. Likewise the area of contagion that also spreads.
Changes in rainfall patterns will also increase the risk of water-borne diseases, such as diarrhea.
Health Issues Related to Temperature and Weather
Rising temperatures can cause or worsen a variety of health problems. When a person is exposed to extreme heat for too long, he or she may experience:
- Extreme fatigue
- Muscle cramp
- Worsening respiratory and heart conditions
Climate change that makes the air temperature hotter also causes dust storms, forest fires, decreased water and food supplies, as well as decreased air quality. These then cause health problems in the form of:
- Increased risk of infection
- Breathing problems due to smoke exposure
Impact on Nervous Health
Exposure to pollution and the associated mental effects of climate change can have a negative effect on neurological health. According to the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, scientists believe that environmental factors play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Toxins in food and water can also cause health problems in the developing fetus. An increase in heavy metals (mercury or lead) contaminating seafood can cause a decrease in IQ in the developing fetus.
As it has a significant negative impact on health, climate change must be tackled together. So, let’s contribute to save the mother earth.