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Environmental Health and the Health Professional Ecological Change and Human Health. Roger A Rosenblatt February 12, 2004. The first step: Making the diagnosis. Fever - Global Warming Asthma - Environmental Degradation Alopecia - Deforestation Thrush - Loss of Biodiversity

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Presentation Transcript
the pathophysiology of the global health crisis
Fever - Global Warming

Asthma - Environmental Degradation

Alopecia - Deforestation

Thrush - Loss of Biodiversity

Scabies - Overpopulation

The Pathophysiology of the Global Health Crisis
world carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning by economic region 1950 94
World Carbon Emissions from FossilFuel Burning, by Economic Region, 1950-94

Developing Countries

Former Eastern Bloc

Industrial Countries


Direct Effects:

Lethal heat waves

Potential extreme weather events – e.g. hurricanes

Indirect Effects:

Increase in air pollution and respiratory disease

Greater growth & dispersion of fungal spores – allergies

Rising sea levels

Diseases that may become more common:

` Malaria, dengue fever, equine encephalitis,

West Nile virus


disease, hantavirus,



Global Climate Change:

The Impact on Human Health

the sixth extinction

Proceeding extremely rapidly

We have lost about 20% of species that existed in the year 1800

We will probably lose 25-50% of remaining species in the next century

The Sixth Extinction
world population growth
World Population Growth

You Are Here

(gradual economic decline)

overpopulation begins


massive environmental destruction and loss of species beings

world population milestones
World Population Milestones

1 billion in 1804

2 billion in 1927 (123 years later)

3 billion in 1960 (33 years later)

4 billion in 1974 (14 years later)

5 billion in 1987 (13 years later)

6 billion in 1998 (11 years later)

what can we do
Adopt an ecological perspective

Reduce unwanted pregnancies in our communities

Promote sustainable economic development

Preserve natural habitat and the species that depend on them

Include these issues in our academic and clinical work

What can we do?
adopting a broader perspective in public health
The Biological Approach

The Biopsychosocial context

The Ecobiopsychosocial imperative

Adopting a Broader Perspectivein Public Health
most pregnancies are unintended
Most Pregnancies Are Unintended

mistimed pregnancies resulting in live births


unwanted pregnancies resulting in live births




unwanted and mistimed pregnancies ending in abortion

intended pregnancies resulting in live births

slowing population growth by meeting family planning needs 1950 2100
Slowing Population Growth by MeetingFamily Planning Needs, 1950-2100

if no family planning programs

if family planning programs continue at 1980-85 level

if all unwanted births are avoided

sustainable economic development some roles for the health professional
Use resources in a sustainable manner

Avoid polluting our natural resources

Address occupational and environmental diseases

Serve as role models for those who follow

Sustainable Economic Development: Some roles for the health professional
preserve natural habitats
Create parks and ecological reserves

Safeguard rare and endangered species

Protect and create forests

Support ecological restoration efforts

Preserve Natural Habitats
next steps
Work to broaden the curriculum

Respond to NIH’s Road-Map Initiative

Work with other complementary groups on campus

Think about how a new discipline of Population and Ecosystem Health might evolve

Next Steps