Lancaster Physician Summer 2021 - 20

L A N CA S TERMED I CALSO C IET Y. O R G
Healthy Communities
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP)
Priorities for
Addressing
Climate Change
to Improve Child
Health
STEPHEN T.
OLIN, MD
I
magine a world where children cannot
breathe clean air, play outside in the
summer, obtain nutritious food, and
they are displaced from their homes
due to mold or lead. Sounds like a scary
post-apocalyptic movie, doesn't it? Yet, this
is the world we live in today because of the
effects of a changing climate.
Lee Beers, MD, President of the AAP, sent a
letter in April to Michael Regan, Administrator
of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), concerning the matter described above.
In clinics and hospitals throughout the
United States, pediatricians and family physicians
are witnessing the immediate harms and
risks that climate change poses to the health
of their patients.
Climate Change is a Public Health Crisis
that Disproportionately Harms Children
Children are uniquely vulnerable to the
health impacts of climate change, and any
comprehensive response to climate change
must consider childhood health. For example,
outdoor air quality that is worsened by climate
change can disproportionately impact children's
health because they tend to spend more time
LANCASTER 20 PHYSICIAN
outside than adults and their growing lungs
are more susceptible to hazardous exposures,
among other factors.
Children from underserved communities
and communities of color are more susceptible
to the health risks posed by climate change.
The following are recommendations across
several policy sectors:
Decarbonizing the Electricity Sector
According to the EPA, power plant emissions
generate over one-quarter of all U.S. greenhouse
gas pollution. To decarbonize the electricity

Lancaster Physician Summer 2021

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