The climate crisis affects people of lower socio-economic status more

“Our generation will be restored Earth”, is his message World Environment Day It is celebrated on June 5 to promote awareness and action to protect an environment challenged by the climate crisis.

This year’s message seeks to strengthen efforts for a more environmentally conscious generation and reinforce the need to take action to mitigate both the environmental and health impacts of the climate crisis.

The Working Group on Smoking Cessation, Health Promotion and Climate Change of the Hellenic Lung Association (HPA) notes that World Environment Day is a reminder that we can all contribute to the recovery of our planet. By taking collective action, we can reverse the damage and build a sustainable and healthy future.

According to the United Nations, human activities have changed about 75% of the Earth’s surface, causing unprecedented environmental degradation.

Climate change and respiratory diseases

Climate change is of immediate concern to pulmonologists because air pollution has a significant impact on diseases such as COPD, lung cancer and respiratory infections.

The coordinator of the EPE Working Group, pulmonologist Nikolaos Athanasiou, refers to the data published by the European Environment Agency on mortality in Greece in 2021:

  • 9,990 deaths were caused by exposure to PM2.5 concentrations above the WHO level of 5 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air).
  • 2,110 deaths resulted from exposure to NO2 concentrations above the WHO guideline of 10µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air).
  • 1,120 deaths were attributed to short-term exposure to O3 concentrations above 70μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air).

The same report notes the significant burden of air pollutants on morbidity and health care costs for patients with chronic diseases.

“We expect a significant deterioration of future exhibitions due to the environmental disaster and the fires that have occurred in our country in recent years,” Mr. Athanasiou notes.

“Climate change is now part of our daily lives. Changes in the environment have a significant impact on respiratory diseases”, says Stelios Loukidis, Professor of Pulmonology at EKPA, President of the Hellenic Society of Pulmonology.

It mainly affects people of low socio-economic status

He adds that “this effect applies to a large percentage of people with low socio-economic status. Rising temperatures, fires and floods significantly affect the daily life of patients with bronchial asthma and COPD, increasing the use of health facilities. At the same time, the exposure of children to relevant basic parameters often leads to the development of diseases such as bronchial asthma.

To the question of what measures should be taken, he answers, “let’s focus on one of them, and that is access to healthcare structures for people with social inequality.”

The Hellenic Society of Pulmonology, in collaboration with the Region of Thessaly on the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5), organized a joint information event open to the public on Saturday, June 1 in Karditsa.

The purpose of the action was to inform the public, as well as the state, about the need to prevent climate change and combat its effects on the health of the residents of Thessaly, a region of our country. tested.

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