Climate and Health Resources:
United States
Environmental Protection
Climate change poses risks to human health. Already in the United States, we are seeing rising
temperatures, increased frequency and intensity of some types of extreme weather, sea level rise, and
other changes in weather and climate patterns. We are all vulnerable to the health impacts associated
with climate change. However, these climate and health risks vary across the country.
In Kentucky, average yearly rainfall is increasing. This and other climate impacts mean increasing risks to
health. Examples of risks and actions for Kentucky residents include:
-	Climate change will increase average temperatures across the US. Higher temperatures have
been linked with a higher risk of kidney stones. Learn how you can take action to protect against
heat waves, such as:
o Respond: Stay hydrated to help prevent kidney stones. Drink plenty of water,
o Respond: Watch for signs of dehydration and overheating, especially in children.
-	Hotter temperatures increase the effects of air pollution and make pollen seasons longer.
Learn how you can take action to prevent asthma attacks and allergy symptoms, such as:
o Prepare Talk to a doctor and make an Asthma Action Plan.
o Respond: Limit time outdoors based on air quality reports, pollen and mold counts, and
heat advisories,
o Prepare: Clean and replace air conditioner filters often.
-	Longer warm seasons mean that ticks that carry Lyme disease will emerge earlier in the
season and move into new areas. Learn how you can take action to protect against ticks, such
o Respond: Check for and remove ticks promptly after coming indoors. Remember that
pets may bring ticks into the house,
o Respond: Wear protective clothing (such as high boots and long sleeves and pants), and
Learn more in the USGCRP Climate and Health Assessment.
The examples of risks and actions provided in this document are not a comprehensive list. They
provide users with illustrative impacts and resources for further information. Examples were
selected based on relevance to the state or region and representation of a diversity of health
threats. Selection does not imply ranking of severity of impacts nor prioritization of actions. The
examples of impacts are based on "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the
United States: A Scientific Assessment," available at, as well
as the National Climate Assessment at
consider using insect repellent.
June 2016

Resource Topic
Climate Change
Learn More: What Climate Change Means for
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency

Learn more: National Climate Assessment:
U.S. Global Change
Research Program. 2014.

Find Resources: EPA Region 4 (Southeast)
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
Public Health
Find Resources: Kentucky Department for Public
State of Kentucky

Find Resources: Kentucky Emergency Management
State of Kentucky
June 2016