EPA report on climate change impacts to children

Date Posted: 05/22/2023
mosquito on young girl's arm

Climate change is the periodic change of Earth’s climate brought about due to changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system. Industries play a large role in lowering emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions followed by electric power.

In late April 2023, EPA released a national-scale multi-sector report on the impacts of climate change on children. The report investigates five climate-related environmental hazards associated with children’s health and well-being in the nation:

  1. Extreme heat,
  2. Poor air quality,
  3. Changes in seasonality,
  4. Flooding, and
  5. Different types of infectious diseases.

Results of the detailed analyses are presented for increases in global average temperature of 2°C and 4°C above levels observed in 1986-2005. The report found that these temperature increases were associated with:

  • Roughly 4 percent and 7 percent reductions in academic achievement per child, respectively, relative to average learning gains experienced each school year.
  • An increase in pollen exposure of 17 percent and 30 percent at 2°C and 4°C, respectively.
  • If no further actions are taken, approximately 185,000 children will experience complete home loss from coastal flooding at 50 cm of global sea level rise. The impact increases to 1.13 million children at 100 cm.
  • A rise in cases of Lyme disease in children to 79 percent to 241 percent, or an extra 2,600 to 23,400 new cases per year.

Many of these impacts seem daunting, but companies can still play a role in preventing future damage. Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change. Consider the following energy efficiency examples:

  • Light bulbs: An LED light bulb that has earned the ENERGY STAR label uses up to 90 percent less energy than an incandescent light bulb, while providing the same illumination.
  • Windows: Energy-efficient windows are made with materials that reduce heat exchange and air leaks, which means you don’t need as much energy to heat or cool a space.
  • Computer power management: Computers can be set to automatically enter a low-power “sleep” mode when not in use.

How Safety Management Suite Can Help

Staying in compliance with federal environmental regulations is challenging, especially when new variables are being introduced. The J. J. Keller® SAFETY MANAGEMENT SUITE offers the ability to ask greenhouse gas questions through the Expert Help tool. The Subject Matter Experts who support the SAFETY MANAGEMENT SUITE will provide a response within one business day.

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