Wednesday 18 September 2019

Climate change 'could kill more in heatwaves and cold winters'


Health Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Health Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Climate change could be a serious threat to our health in Ireland - increasing the risk of skin cancer in heatwave summers and premature deaths during extreme cold snaps, a new document has warned.

The discussion document from the Department of Health sets out the kind of wild weather and far-reaching different scenarios that could come with global warming.

The public is now being invited to take part in a consultation process on climate change running until the end of August.

Health Minister Simon Harris said: "My department is now preparing a five-year plan for climate change for the health sector. There are a range of climate change scenarios we must assess, including UV radiation from sun exposure, air pollution, the effect of windstorms, extreme heat and heatwaves, high precipitation and flooding, and extreme cold snaps."

Ireland will potentially be the victim of weather extremes if dire predictions about climate change materialise.

Not only will summers be scorching, leaving us in greater danger of developing skin cancer or dying from the heat, but plunging winter temperatures could kill more vulnerable people who suffer from heart disease and respiratory illness.

Submissions to the Department of Health can be posted or emailed to by August 25.

Irish Independent

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