Respiratory experts have expressed concerns about the impact of increasing temperatures and changing weather patterns on lung health. According to a report in The Guardian, these experts warn that our warming planet presents a significant risk to individuals with respiratory illnesses, making breathing more challenging for many people.
The experts, who are based in Europe, have urged officials to reduce the European Union’s regulatory limits for air pollution to align with the guidelines set by the World Health Organization. They argue that the effects of rising temperatures and their impact on human health are now irreversible.
The report highlights that there has been a rise in allergens such as pollen, as well as an increase in wildfires, dust, and pollution from transportation. These factors have worsened existing respiratory conditions and contributed to the emergence of new ones.
Zorana Jovanovic Andersen, a professor of environmental epidemiology at the University of Copenhagen and one of the report’s authors, emphasized the vulnerability of respiratory patients to climate change. She stated that individuals with respiratory conditions experience breathing difficulties and are more sensitive to the changing climate. For some, the worsening symptoms could be fatal.
The correlation between climate change and respiratory health is concerning because both are direct consequences of human activities. Air pollution alone was responsible for an estimated 6.7 million deaths worldwide in 2019, according to The Guardian. The impact of air pollution is especially dangerous for individuals with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory ailments.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis and air pollution due to the ongoing development of their lungs. They breathe faster than adults, inhaling two to three times more air, making them more susceptible to harmful pollutants.
To address these issues and help people breathe easier, the authors of the study, along with scientists and experts globally, advocate for the reduction of toxic greenhouse gas emissions and the prevention of Earth’s overheating. They argue that such actions would have substantial and immediate benefits.
Andersen stressed the need for policymakers to take action to mitigate the impacts of climate change on both the planet and human health. She emphasized the responsibility of respiratory doctors and nurses to be aware of these new risks and do everything possible to alleviate patients’ suffering.
In conclusion, the rising temperatures and changing weather patterns linked to climate change are exacerbating respiratory health problems, particularly affecting individuals with pre-existing conditions. Urgent action is needed to reduce air pollution and prevent further overheating of the planet in order to safeguard the health and well-being of everyone.