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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8359-8412; doi:10.3390/ijerph120708359

Climate Change, Drought and Human Health in Canada

1
Environmental Health Program, Health Canada, 180 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 3L7, Canada
2
Climate Change and Health Office, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada
3
Sherbourne Health Centre, 333 Sherbourne St., Toronto, ON M5A 2S5, Canada
4
Centre for Food-Borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Public Health Agency of Canada, 3200 Sicotte, P.O. Box 5000, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 7C6, Canada
5
Watershed Hydrology and Ecology Research Division, Environment Canada, 11 Innovation Blvd., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 3H5, Canada
6
Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, 70A Dysart Road, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
7
Environmental Health, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 960 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1A 0Z2, Canada
8
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jan C. Semenza
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Climate Change and Human Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [603 KB, uploaded 22 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

Droughts have been recorded all across Canada and have had significant impacts on individuals and communities. With climate change, projections suggest an increasing risk of drought in Canada, particularly in the south and interior. However, there has been little research on the impacts of drought on human health and the implications of a changing climate. A review of the Canadian, U.S. and international literature relevant to the Canadian context was conducted to better define these impacts and adaptations available to protect health. Drought can impact respiratory health, mental health, illnesses related to exposure to toxins, food/water security, rates of injury and infectious diseases (including food-, water- and vector-borne diseases). A range of direct and indirect adaptation (e.g., agricultural adaptation) options exist to cope with drought. Many have already been employed by public health officials, such as communicable disease monitoring and surveillance and public education and outreach. However, gaps exist in our understanding of the impacts of short-term vs. prolonged drought on the health of Canadians, projections of drought and its characteristics at the regional level and the effectiveness of current adaptations. Further research will be critical to inform adaptation planning to reduce future drought-related risks to health. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; drought; adaptation; Canada; human health impacts climate change; drought; adaptation; Canada; human health impacts
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yusa, A.; Berry, P.; J.Cheng, J.; Ogden, N.; Bonsal, B.; Stewart, R.; Waldick, R. Climate Change, Drought and Human Health in Canada. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8359-8412.

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