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Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070245

Beyond Climate Change and Health: Integrating Broader Environmental Change and Natural Environments for Public Health Protection and Promotion in the UK

1
European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, C/O Knowledge Spa RCHT, Truro TR1 3HD, UK
2
Centre for Radiation Chemicals and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England, Didcot OX11 0RQ, UK
3
Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SH, UK
4
Medical Entomology & Zoonoses Ecology, Emergency Response Department—Science & Technology, Public Health England (PHE), Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JG, UK
5
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
6
Met Office, Hadley Centre, Fitzroy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK
7
Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Vet School Main Building, Daphne Jackson Road, Guildford GU2 7AL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [803 KB, uploaded 27 June 2018]   |  

Abstract

Increasingly, the potential short and long-term impacts of climate change on human health and wellbeing are being demonstrated. However, other environmental change factors, particularly relating to the natural environment, need to be taken into account to understand the totality of these interactions and impacts. This paper provides an overview of ongoing research in the Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) on Environmental Change and Health, particularly around the positive and negative effects of the natural environment on human health and well-being and primarily within a UK context. In addition to exploring the potential increasing risks to human health from water-borne and vector-borne diseases and from exposure to aeroallergens such as pollen, this paper also demonstrates the potential opportunities and co-benefits to human physical and mental health from interacting with the natural environment. The involvement of a Health and Environment Public Engagement (HEPE) group as a public forum of “critical friends” has proven useful for prioritising and exploring some of this research; such public involvement is essential to minimise public health risks and maximise the benefits which are identified from this research into environmental change and human health. Research gaps are identified and recommendations made for future research into the risks, benefits and potential opportunities of climate and other environmental change on human and planetary health. View Full-Text
Keywords: demographic change; infectious diseases; vector-borne diseases; aerosolized exposures; pollen; well-being; public health; land management; patient and public involvement (PPI); land-use demographic change; infectious diseases; vector-borne diseases; aerosolized exposures; pollen; well-being; public health; land management; patient and public involvement (PPI); land-use
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Fleming, L.E.; Leonardi, G.S.; White, M.P.; Medlock, J.; Alcock, I.; Macintyre, H.L.; Maguire, K.; Nichols, G.; Wheeler, B.W.; Morris, G.; Taylor, T.; Hemming, D.; Iacono, G.L.; Gillingham, E.L.; Hansford, K.M.; Heaviside, C.; Bone, A.; Duarte-Davidson, R. Beyond Climate Change and Health: Integrating Broader Environmental Change and Natural Environments for Public Health Protection and Promotion in the UK. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 245.

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