198447 Climate change and workers health

Sunday, November 8, 2009

HeeKyoung Chun, ScD , APTR-CDC fellow, NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH
Paul A. Schulte, Ph D , CDC/NIOSH, Cincinnati, OH
Workers are exposed to many types of hazards that depend on their type and duration of work, geographic region and season.

Published, peer-reviewed papers describing epidemiological studies of climate change and health outcome during 1988-2008 were reviewed. The paper identified occupational groups that might be affected by occupational hazards caused by climate change. The result is organized by vector for disease, hazardous substance, and adverse health effects. In addition, climate-potentiated occupational hazards include heat stress, degree of acclimatization, and a variety of medical conditions such as pregnancy, use of drugs, and obesity or pre-existing disease such as cardiovascular disease or chronic respiratory diseases.

The paper discussed recommendations within the broader public health framework. There is a need to improve the linkage between pathogen surveillance and climate change for a potential disease event. Occupational hazards related to new green jobs, economic effect of climate change intervention and occupational safety and health policy need to be assessed. There is a need to develop a better understanding of the impacts of extreme weather events on workers health infrastructure and vulnerability to infectious disease outbreaks in order to develop warning systems.

Learning Objectives:
Identify occupational groups and hazards related to climate change

Keywords: Climate Change, Hazards

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm involved in various projects related to occupational health at NIOSH.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.