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Climate change is hazardous to your health

Health InsuranceConservationEcosystemsGlobal Warming

Thanks for Tim Wheeler's report that Marylanders understand some of the connections between climate change and human health ("Most Marylanders see climate change harming health," July 17).

Last week during a lengthy heat wave, a Massachusetts postman collapsed and died on his route. Many of the local papers covering the story failed to mention climate change as a factor in his death.

In fact, outdoor workers are more at risk from extreme heat, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has prepared a guide for companies whose employees "spend a substantial portion of the shift outdoors." The guide covers construction workers, agricultural workers, baggage handlers, electrical power transmission and control workers and landscaping and yard maintenance workers.

In addition to heat stroke, senior citizens and infants are particularly at risk for dehydration. Municipal offices in many cities issue heat wave advisories and automatically dial tens of thousands of seniors urging them to take precautions.

The costs to human health from greenhouse gas emissions justifies charging fossil fuel producers a pollution tax based on the amount of carbon emissions their products release into the atmosphere. It is unfair that members of our society pollute for free while others are harmed by their pollution.

Judy Weiss, Brookline, Mass.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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