Discussion – Air Pollution and Toxic Homes
As the climate is changing due to human usage and abuse of natural resources, there are countless effects that are on the rise that affect the overall human health. Samuel and Aaron (2013) share that the human water supply will continue to suffer great disparities due to the hydrologic cycle, nutrition and agriculture will also suffer greatly as the timing and quantity of available water will be altered, and lastly, this will lead to displacement as impacted individuals seek safety and shelter. Unfortunately, those at the bottom of the socioeconomic pole, worldwide, experience most severe health problems. “The most consequential health effects of climate change will come about from interactions between biophysical changes to the natural environment, demographic trends, and human adaptations” (Samuel & Aaron, 2013). In many ways, people worldwide are left to make do with what they have and or are able to afford. According to the World Health Organization (2006) even though families who burn solid fuels are aware of the toxic pollutants they release into the air they also know that if they do not use solid fuels cooked meals cannot be eaten. Consequently, even the necessity of cooking, which is to some an enjoyable hobby, is a harmful activity for the poor who cannot afford or have access to liquid and healthier forms of fuels.
Third-world nations undergo health problems at a higher and starker rate due to their naturally desperate practices. In her TED talk (2007), Amy Smith shared that Haitians do not cut trees ignorantly of environmental damage, they are well aware, but they have no other choice since fossil fuels are not available and solar energy does not cook the food the way that like their food prepared, so fundamentally the same models that are used in the United States cannot be used with local populations. There are also vast economic disparities in third-world nations that prevent some external solutions from effectively working internally in those nations. Unfortunately, children are the individuals who are most severely impacted by these climate changes. Bunyavanic (2003) express that kids are not little adults, their immune system and organs a still developing, so their health is impacted more by climate change; children bear 88% of the burden of climate change globally, they experience increased rates of asthma attacks and allergies, mental health problems, developmental delays and changes in their genetic makeup along with issues related with obesity since they are not outside as frequently as result of these climate changes. According to Nelson and Patterson (2009), poverty-stricken individuals in the Texas area that are affected by the toxic emissions of factories leverage for their future through community and legal advocacy programs even when they believe their cases are not heard. These are unfortunate cases since individuals in poverty do not stand a chance against multimillion dollar companies while their health issues induced by toxic pollutants persist.
Bunyavanich, S. et al. (2003). The Impact of Climate Change on Child Health. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Ambulatory Pediatrics 2003; 3, 44-52. Retrieved from: http://www.chgeharvard.org/sites/default/files/resources/Climate change_childhealth_supinda_banerjee_ambulatory paediatrics.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Nelson, Z. (Director), Patterson, H. (Producer). (2009). Shelter in place: Living in the shadow of the petrochemical industry. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=42253&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.=
Samuel, S.M. & Aaron, B. (2013). The Coming health crisis: Indirect health effects of global climate change. The Scientist. Retrieved from: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/29429/title/The-Coming-Health-Crisis/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
TED. (2007, January 16). Amy Smith: Simple designs that could save millions of children’s lives [Video file]. Retrieved from Amy Smith: Simple designs that could save millions of childrens’ lives (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
World Health Organization (2006). Fuel for Life: Household Energy and Health. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Pages 7-25). Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/indoorair/publications/fuelforlife/en/ (Links to an external site.)