Effects of Climate Change on Health
Children are different from adults in how they interact with their environment and how their health may be affected by these interactions. Children’s body systems are still developing through the second decade of life. Because they breathe more air, drink more water, and eat more food per unit of body weight, children experience greater proportionate exposure to environmental pollutants than do adults. Because of these and other factors, children are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Federal agencies engaging in climate change preparation, mitigation, adaptation and response need to understand how children may be exposed and how they may be affected by the human health threats posed by climate change. The President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children, a federal interagency group, stood up a Subcommittee on Climate Change, which is co-chaired by NIEHS, EPA, and DHS. In July 2014, the Subcommittee hosted an Expert Consultation on the Effects of Climate Change on Children’s Health to explore these issues and to help to inform an ongoing U.S. Global Change Research Program health assessment of climate change.