FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
April 7, 2008 William Gerrish
Hartford – Public health officials in Connecticut and all across the country are asking the public to understand the link between climate change and their personal health, and to make choices and lead lifestyles that are healthy for them, their communities and the planet.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that changes in the Earth’s climate now lead to at least 5 million cases of illness and more than 150,000 deaths each year due to extreme heat, air pollution, infectious diseases, and other factors impacted by climate changes.
“Climate change is a health issue,” according to Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “From changes in vector-borne diseases to impacts on drinking water supply to extreme weather events, we are already seeing the effects of climate change on the health of people across the globe.”
“The good news is that there are steps we can take as individuals to protect our community from the health impacts of climate change by making the choice to lead a lifestyle that’s healthier for ourselves, our community, and the planet,” stated Dr. Galvin.
According to the American Public Health Association, there are five important ways Americans can take action in their lives today:
Be Prepared. Prepare for climate change-related emergencies by creating “Emergency Preparedness Kits,” and becoming informed about the health impacts of climate change and regional climate change issues facing our state.
Travel Differently. Leave the car at home — use public transportation, carpool, or telecommute. Walk or bike if you can – you will save money and get exercise.
Eat Differently. Eat less meat and buy local produce from community farmers markets.
Green Your Work. Use recycled paper, print less, use energy saving computer settings and green your office.
Green Your Home. Seal and insulate your home, reduce, reuse, recycle and use water efficiently.
Since 1995, the first full week of April has been designated in the United States as National Public Health Week. This year’s observance focuses on climate change and public health. During April 7-13, 2008, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association (APHA), and members of the public health community will conduct activities and host events that encourage the public, policy-makers, and public health professionals to take steps that will have positive effects on their individual health, the health of the nation, and the climate.
For more information, visit the APHA website at http://www.apha.org/ or Connecticut’s Official Climate Change Web Site at http://www.ctclimatechange.com/ for more on the state’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.