08 Nov '11, 4pm

Climate-Related Natural Disasters Cost US $14 Billion in Health Care Over Past Decade

Climate-Related Natural Disasters Cost US $14 Billion in Health Care Over Past Decade

In the past decade, climate change-related natural disasters and "disease events" have caused in excess of $14 billion in additional health care cost in the United States. Research co-authored by scientists from NRDC , appearing in Health Affairs , highlights six categories of climate-related disasters in the US that are likely to be made worse by climate change: Hurricanes, flooding, heat waves, wildfires, ozone air pollution, and West Nile virus outbreaks. All told, the report says that the events that they looked at resulted in a total of 760,000 encounters with the health care system. The majority of these were outpatient or emergency room visits, though there were just under 9,000 hospitalizations and 1,689 premature deaths. Breaking down the dollar figures for the specific disasters examined: High levels of ozone air pollution cost $6.5 billion from 2000-2002; Louisi...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/climate-natural-...

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