World Environment Day – Environment and Health

National glaciers lose an average of one meter of ice thickness per year. This has recently been confirmed by mountain researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
The climate changes. This resulted in the middle of summer, snow, in May – according to Heinz Fuchsig, environmental manager of the Tyrolean and Austrian medical chambers.

"We now have the optimum temperature," he said at the Praevenire Health Days at Stift Seitenstetten. But if it changes, it has an impact. When it is warmer, the weather can be less cold, the heat down, cycling all year and more outdoors. But higher temperatures also bring problems.

According to the special report of the Austrian Expert Group on Climate Change (APCC) on climate change and health, the number of hot days during heat episodes will double by the middle of the century and simultaneously concerns an older society, which accounts for 10% of people over 65 years of age. having. A group of people particularly exposed to the risk of heat because it is more difficult for them to regulate body temperature. Especially in densely built areas, increasing the number of tropical nights becomes a problem.

Extreme rainfall, prolonged drought or severe storms caused by climate change could also cause damage from floods or crop failures, but also have a local impact on local water quality.

And power outages become more likely, according to Fuchsig. When the freezers break down, the food spoils. There is no running water for drinking or cooking, hot water for the toilet and toilets should not be used without water, according to the Civil Defense Association.

If the winters are not cold enough, even animals can survive in Austria, which are not native and transmit diseases. Like sandflies that can cause leishmiosis, tropical ticks (Congo Crimean fever) or tiger mosquitoes (West Nile fever, dengue fever, chikungunya).
And: "Allergens continue to increase," says Fuchsig. Among others by a spread of ambrosia – because of higher temperatures. 800,000 Austrians could react to ragweed pollen in the future.

What can you do yourself? Eat less meat and move more. The movement reduces stress, says Fuchsig. You become less sick. The risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and others is reduced.