A new report from The Lancet revealed that climate change, air pollution, and life-threatening floodings, among others, are exposing Canadians to high health risks. According to the report, Canada’s failure to cut greenhouse-gas emissions is not only affecting the planet by increasing global warming but is also putting Canadians’ health at risk.
As the new study showed in The Lancet journal, air pollution from greenhouse-gas-emitting activities is causing 7,142 deaths a year across Canada, while more than 2 million people worldwide die because of it. The report added that the Canadian health authorities should focus on estimating the real numbers of people affected by air pollution, something that’s not happening in the majority of Canadian provinces.
“We’re not sure we can adapt to that in a way where we can maintain the same civilizational stability and health-care systems we’re used to. We’re talking about not just maintaining disease levels, we’re talking about our ability to provide health care,” Dr. Courtney Howard who participated in the new research.
Climate Change and Air Pollution Are Exposing Canadians To High Health Risks
According to researchers, fine particles of pollutants in the air are involved in premature deaths from heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, acute respiratory infections, and chronic lung disease, reports CBC News via The Canadian Press.
Global warming is also helping insects to thrive, which can increase the number of insect-borne illnesses. For example, Lyme disease carried by ticks rose by 50% in 2017. Dr. Howard also added that the lack of progress in climate change fight across Canada causes more wildfires across the country. For instance, record-breaking forest-fire affected British Columbia in both 2017 and 2018.
“Health care professionals see first-hand the devastating health impacts of our changing climate. From wildfires to heat waves to new infectious diseases, we’re already treating the health effects of climate change. This is the public health imperative of our time,” explained Dr. Gigi Osler from the Canadian Medical Association.