Respiratory Disease is Related to Climate Change

Dr. Bruce Amundson is a much-loved family physician, but, that’s not all. He’s helped rural communities maintain health services and he’s taught at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He was a founding member of Spokane Physicians for Social Responsibility and even worked with Russian physicians in the 1990’s to help them disclose massive amounts of environmental contamination from radioactive wastes. Dr. Amundson has seen a lot. And now, he’s speaking out about climate change.

Dr. Amundson says severe weather events around the world caused by climate change are closely tied to health-related issues and are negatively impacting human health.

“There’s no doubt that the increase in respiratory disease is partly related to climate change. In Washington we have one of the highest rates of respiratory diseases in the country.”

“Flooding in some parts of the world has increased 200 to 300 percent. And, we’re seeing a huge increase in heat related deaths, too. Both morbidity and mortality have been increasing because of severe weather events,” he says.

Closer to home, raging forest fires and record pollen counts have made Washington’s air more dangerous for residents to breathe.

“There’s no doubt that the increase in respiratory disease is partly related to climate change. In Washington we have one of the highest rates of respiratory diseases in the country.”

Dr. Amundson and other Washington physicians know that if climate change isn’t checked, our health will continue to suffer. That’s why he and physicians and nurses around Washington are supporting the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. “There is an urgent health need to slow climate change,” he says.

Despite worsening health conditions linked to climate change, Dr. Amundson is hopeful. “We’ve seen the coalition of western states and British Columbia work together to create real change and make smart environmental decisions. We have a progressive history in Washington and so I believe we can do something that could quickly reduce carbon pollution and the use of fossil fuels.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *