Climate and Health Infographic (text version)

APHA climate change and health infographic

APHA is building understanding and awareness of the public health implications of climate change. Those include worsened air quality, to changes in the spread of vector-borne diseases and devastation to communities due to extreme weather events like floods and hurricanes. We need strong climate change strategies and interventions that protect people's health. APHA supports the activities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon pollution, and help our communities prevent and prepare for the serious health challenges posed by climate change.

Share this infographic widely and use it when talking to your members of Congress, other decision-makers and your colleagues to help educate them about the health impacts of climate change.

 Climate Change Threatens Human Health and Well-Being (Text Version)

We can act now to prevent disease and death


Climate Change Threatens Human Health

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Extreme Heat

More frequent heat waves

Dehydration, heatstroke; aggravated respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses

Increased Frequency of Wildfires

More wildfire smoke; reduced air quality


Increased respiratory illness and hospitalizations

Poor Air Quality

Increased allergens; increased ground-level ozone and particulate matter air pollution

Increased allergy-related illnesses; respiratory and asthma complications

Vector-borne Disease

Expanded geographic range

for pathogen-carrying insects


Increased risk of Lyme disease, dengue fever, West Nile virus

More Intense Storms and Flooding

Infrastructure destruction; property loss; water contamination

Injury and death; displacement-

related mental health problems;

waterborne illness


Existing Health Threats Worsen

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Vulnerable Populations Are Most at Risk

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Environmental justice problems are growing.

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Northwest: Increased wildfire risk, water supplies reduced by earlier snowmelt

Midwest: Increased heat wave intensity and frequency, degraded air and water quality

Northeast: Increased heat waves, coast flooding and river flooding

Southwest: Increased temperatures and decreased rainfall

Great Plains: Increased intensity and frequency of floods, droughts and heat waves

Southeast and the Caribbean: Increased heat waves and flooding from coastal storms

Alaska: Increased temperatures and wildfire risk

Hawaii and U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands: Increased temperatures, decreased rainfall and increased drought

Prevention and Preparedness Provide Protection

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Box 1: U.S. EPA Clean Energy Plan

  • Slows climate change and reduces harmful pollutants in the air

Box 2:  [no heading]

  • Cut power sector’s heat-trapping carbon emissions 30% below 2005 levels
  • More than 25% drop in particle pollution, nitrogen oxides and sulfur

Box 3: Immediate Public Health Benefits

  • Up to $93 billion saved
  • 6,600 fewer premature deaths
  • 150,000 asthma attacks in children avoided
  • Up to 490,000 missed work or school days reclaimed

CDC Climate and Health Program

  • Leads efforts to identify vulnerable populations to climate change
  • Prevents and adapts to current and anticipated health impacts
  • Assures that systems are in place to detect and respond to current and emerging health threats

Building Resilience Against Climate Effects

  • Forecasts climate impacts and assesses vulnerabilities
  • Projects future injury and disease rates
  • Assesses and identifies suitable health interventions
  • Creates and implements climate and health adaptation plans
  • Evaluates impacts to improve adaptation activities 

State and local Health Departments


  • Compile local climate change threats
  • Assess the built environment
  • Identify vulnerable communities


  • Increase education and awareness
  • Develop key health indicators
  • Create response plans


  • Implement disaster response activities
  • Distribute toolkits
  • Manage health centers (food, water, vaccines, cooling)


Non-Health Sector Changes Offer Multiple Benefits

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Clean Energy

Reduces air pollution along with greenhouse gas emissions: Fewer respiratory diseases, heart attacks, deaths

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Healthy Communities

Provide access to active transportation and green space and reduce urban heat, reduce air pollution: Reduction cardiovascular diseases, reduce obesity 

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Increases consumption of fruits and vegetables, reduces red meat consumption: reduces livestock-related greenhouse gas emission 

For more information:

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