Recently, Senator Scott Brown denied that carbon emissions and climate change are connected to asthma and sick children, saying “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
In fact, the Senator couldn’t be further off-base.
- Climate change will lead to higher concentrations of ground-level ozone (smog) in many areas of the country; smog is a pollutant known to exacerbate asthma and respiratory diseases and boost hospital admissions for respiratory illnesses.
- Rising temperatures are associated with lengthening pollen seasons, which could worsen allergy symptoms and have serious health consequences for asthma sufferers. The burden of these climate change impacts will be most strongly felt by children.
While there are more scientific studies than can be summarized here, the key studies below support the conclusion that carbon emissions and climate change are connected to asthma.
Here’s a quick scan:
1. Climate change is expected to lead to higher concentrations of ground-level ozone (smog):
A warmer climate is projected to increase emissions of the chemicals that form ozone smog, , speed up ozone–forming chemical reactions in the air, and increase the frequency and duration of stagnant air masses that allow pollution to accumulate, worsening health symptoms. Increased temperatures due to human-induced carbon pollution increase ozone smog more in areas with already elevated concentrations, meaning that climate change tends to worsen ozone pollution most in already-polluted areas.
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