EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH

Keyword: climate change

3 results found.

Research Article
Sea Level Rise and City-Level Climate Action
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(2), em0111, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/12046
ABSTRACT: Background: Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Rising sea levels are one particularly concerning manifestation of this and many of the world’s largest cities are vulnerable to sea level rise (SLR). Thus, urban climate adaptation and mitigation policies are increasingly important to protect population health.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine whether being at risk of SLR was associated with city-level climate action. It also aimed to assess the wider drivers of climate action in cities, in order to guide ongoing efforts to motivate climate action, assess public health preparedness and identify research gaps.
Methods: This is an ecological cross-sectional study using secondary data from CDP, the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), World Bank, United Nations Cities and EM-DAT (Emergency Events Database). The study population consisted of 517 cities who participated in CDP’s 2019 Cities Survey. Multivariable logistic regression was utilized to assess the relationship between risk of SLR and city-level climate action, and secondly, to assess the wider determinants of city-level climate action.
Results: There was evidence of crude associations between risk of SLR and three outcome variables representing city-level climate action. However, after adjusting for confounding variables, these crude associations disappeared. World region, national income status and urban population were shown to be stronger predictors of city-level climate action.
Conclusion: It is concerning for population health that there is no association demonstrated between risk of SLR and climate action. This could indicate a lack of awareness of the risks posed by SLR within urban governance. To fulfil their health protection responsibilities, it is essential that public health professionals take a leading role in advocating for climate action.
Research Article
Mental Distress Associated with Air Quality Vulnerability During COVID-19
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2022, 6(1), em0103, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/11674
ABSTRACT: Yakima County, Washington is an area with prolonged exposure to poor air quality (PM 2.5) and has been one of the hardest hit counties in cases per capita of COVID-19 in the Western US. The physical health impacts of poor air quality exposure and COVID-19 have been well documented. However, the mental health impacts of these concurrent exposures are unknown. A pilot study (n=232) surveyed households using random-digit-dialing (RDD) in Yakima, County in Dec 2020-Jan 2021 to understand the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities. Air quality behaviors and contexts including home filtration systems and use of community shelters during poor air quality events were measured. Mental distress was measured by the John Hopkins’s Mental Distress COVID-19 Community Response Survey. Descriptive data analysis along with Spearman’s rank correlation analysis were performed. Nearly half of the sample (45.3%) did not have access to air quality mitigation measures in their homes. The majority of the sample (54.3%) reported wanting to access clean air shelters during major air quality events such as the smoke and wildfire season of 2020. Participants who were unable to mitigate poor air quality in their households as well as those who were unable to access community clean air shelters were observed to have higher levels of mental distress (p<.05). This study adds to the body of evidence that environmental exposures play a significant role in mental health and that compounding impacts of climate change should be studied more in depth. Household interventions should be explored as COVID-19 has brought community protection measures to a halt, while climate change induced natural disasters will only increase in the future.
Research Article
A Planetary Health Perspective to Decarbonising Public Hospitals in Ireland: A Health Policy Report
European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0067, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/9368
ABSTRACT: Background: Decarbonisation refers to the process by which countries, individuals or other entities aim to achieve zero fossil carbon emissions through reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including procurement, energy and buildings, pharmaceuticals, transport, and waste which impacts public health. Preliminary findings on decarbonisation in healthcare systems suggest that further research is required.
Aims: This research was undertaken to explore the opportunities and barriers of decarbonisation of public hospitals within the ‘climate health’ planetary health boundary in the Republic of Ireland.
Methodology: A literature review was used in conjunction with semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore barriers and opportunities of decarbonisation of Irish healthcare sector. The purposive sampling for the qualitative interviews resulted in the selection of five key decision-makers within cross-sector fields including environmental, public health, management and transport.
Results: Themes emerged which reflected the cross-cutting planetary health principle. Barriers such as financial incentives and the requirement for a transdisciplinary approach were raised. The need for preparing the healthcare sector through adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change was also highlighted, as was the importance of leadership within the hospital from all sectors.
Recommendations: The findings emerging from this novel research through a planetary health lens can be used to further inform the ‘Climate Action Plan’ in the Republic of Ireland, with adaption to other healthcare sectors internationally, in order to ensure investment within the health sector in preparation for climate change.