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Global Climate Change Paper Identifies 11 Key Categories for Study

human health perspective cover

An NIEHS-led interagency effort identified 11 key categories of diseases and other health consequences of global climate change. As part of an ad hoc interagency working group on climate change and health, NIEHS teamed up with other government and international researchers to address public health concerns and vulnerability related to climate change. Discussions demonstrated that climate change mitigation strategies, in addition to reducing greenhouse gases, have additional benefits for public health. The group issued its report on Earth Day, April 21, 2010, as a supplement to the NIEHS journal, Environmental Health Perspectives. In 2009, the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine concluded that research on climate change needed to be reframed to emphasize human health impacts and research gaps. As a result, the working group was formed. Researchers following up on the group’s report will develop strategies to promote health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation strategies include reducing household energy emissions, reducing motor vehicle use, developing and using low-carbon electricity, and reducing meat consumption.

Also, NIEHS, along with British partners, funded a 2009 series in the journal Lancet that concluded that the savings from improving health would offset the cost of addressing climate change.

Tags: breast cancer, genes


Environmental Health Perspectives and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. 2010. A Human Health Perspective On Climate Change: A Report Outlining the Research Needs on the Human Health Effects of Climate Change. Research Triangle Park, NC: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Available: A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change (Full Report) [accessed 03 January 2011] 

Haines A, McMichael J, Smith KR, Roberts I, Woodcock J, Markandya A, Armstrong BG, Campbell-Lendrum D, Dangour AD, Davies M, Bruce N, Tonne C, Barrett M, Wilkinson P. 2009. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: Overview and implications for policy makers. Lancet 374(9707):2104-2114. [Abstract]   [Full Text]

More Information:

NIEHS Programs:

NIEHS Research Funding:

News Releases:

  • 2010: NIH-led Interagency Group Identifies Research Needs to Study Climate Change and Human Health Impacts
  • 2009: NIH Teams Up With The Lancet and Leading International Organizations to Address Public Health Impacts of Climate Change: New Strategies Promote Health and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • 2009: A Call to Copenhagen - Health Effects of Climate Change: Major Study Unveiled, Evaluates Strategies to Reduce Green House Gas Emissions

Environmental Health Perspectives articles:

Environmental Factor article:

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