(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Climate Change: A Factor Escalating Compensable Conditions

Global climate change is anticipated to cause an increase in adverse medical conditions and will ultimately impact work-related medical conditions and diseases. A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) discuses the anticipated escalation.

"Evidence over the past 20 years indicates that climate change can be associated with adverse health outcomes. Health professionals have an important role in understanding and communicating potential health concerns related to climate change, as well as the cobenefits from burning less fossil fuels."

"By 2050, many US cities may experience more frequent extreme heat days. For example, New York and Milwaukee may have 3 times their current average number of days hotter than 32°C (90°F). The adverse health aspects related to climate change may include heat-related disorders, such as heat stress and economic consequences of reduced work capacity; and respiratory disorders, including those exacerbated by fine particulate pollutants, such as asthma and allergic disorders; infectious diseases, including vectorborne diseases and water-borne diseases, such as childhood gastrointestinal diseases; food insecurity, including reduced crop yields and an increase in plant diseases; and mental health disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, that are associated with natural disasters. Substantial health and economic cobenefits could be associated with reductions in fossil fuel combustion. For example, the cost of greenhouse gas emission policies may yield net economic benefit, with health benefits from air quality improvements potentially offsetting the cost of US carbon policies.

Climate Change Challenges and Opportunities for Global Health, AMA. Published online September 22, 2014. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13186

Click here to read the entire article.


Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.