Do environmental issues impact human health?

The center for Health and the Global Environment (http://chge.med.harvard.edu/topic/climate-change-and-infectious-disease)  is based out of the The Harvard Medical School and has a significant work on climate change, infectious disease and human health.  This has included looking at the full lifecycle costs of coal as well as exploring linkages between infectious disease and climate change lead by some of the thinking of Dr. Paul Epstein.

Many of the links are as a result of warmer temperatures which increase the favourable factors for these diseases to grow and flourish in water bodies or because the temperatures do not cool as much and some of the vectors like mosquitoes survive and spread the disease. In addition climate change may increase the range of some of these diseases north and south because of these warmer temperatures as well as up in altitude.

Here is one article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230419/ and another one http://chge.med.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/resources/Ecologyclimatechange_epstein.pdf

Much of the discussion in the past about environmental issues has been about the natural world and biodiversity and not realizing that there are also impacts on human health, the economy and our society.  The center for Health and Global Environment was started to explore that question.

Two other reports which Paul Epstein was also involved in include assessing risks for investors and insurers from climate change.  Updates on those to come later.