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Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2012 Mar;9(1):3-8. doi: 10.1513/pats.201201-015ST.

An official American Thoracic Society workshop report: Climate change and human health.


This document presents the proceedings from the American Thoracic Society Climate Change and Respiratory Health Workshop that was held on May 15, 2010, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The purpose of the one-day meeting was to address the threat to global respiratory health posed by climate change. Domestic and international experts as well as representatives of international respiratory societies and key U.S. federal agencies convened to identify necessary research questions concerning climate change and respiratory health and appropriate mechanisms and infrastructure needs for answering these questions. After much discussion, a breakout group compiled 27 recommendations for physicians, researchers, and policy makers. These recommendations are listed under main issues that the workshop participants deemed of key importance to respiratory health. Issues include the following: (1) the health impacts of climate change, with specific focus on the effect of heat waves, air pollution, and natural cycles; (2) mitigation and adaptation measures to be taken, with special emphasis on recommendations for the clinical and research community; (3) recognition of challenges specific to low-resource countries when coping with respiratory health and climate change; and (4) priority research infrastructure needs, with special discussion of international needs for cooperating with present and future environmental monitoring and alert systems.

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