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UK report outlines health effects of climate change


13 February, 2008  

A UK government report published yesterday has set out the possible health effects of climate change.

The report, Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK, is published by the Department of Health (DH) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

Written by a panel of independent scientists, the report uses the latest information and current climate change predictions, updating the original DH report, published in 2001.

The report calls for health authorities to remain alert to the possibility of outbreaks of malaria in other European countries, and the possibility of malaria-carrying mosquito species arriving in Britain, although the likelihood of an outbreak of the disease in the UK remains low.

It also predicts increased numbers of bacteria in surface water and a higher water temperature resulting in more algae in reservoirs.

Although many types of air pollutants will be reduced, the concentration of ozone will increase, and this will impact on attributable deaths and hospital admissions, according to the study.

The incidence of skin cancers is also expected to rise with a greater exposure to ultra-violet rays.

The findings suggest that although the UK is adapting well to rising temperatures experienced since the 1970s, heatwaves and flooding are posing increasing health risks.

Department of Health