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Environmental, health groups demand urgent action to prevent further climate change-related health issues

Research links climate change to premature babies

LANSING – Environmental and health groups are demanding urgent action on climate change following a new report showing women exposed to higher temperatures and greater amounts of air pollution are more likely to have children who are premature, underweight or stillborn.

Data from more than 32 million births in the United States show a direct correlation between aspects of climate change, like air pollution, and negative health impacts to newborn babies. The data also shows that black women are more likely to be negatively affected by climate change and dangerous pollution.

“We see study after study show that air pollution and climate change harms our health, yet leaders across the country are not doing nearly enough to reduce pollution and prioritize climate, health, and environmental justice,” said Kate Madigan, director of Michigan Climate Action Network. “As we begin to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever we reduce toxic emissions from coal plants and other sources of dangerous pollution to save the lives of those living in highly polluted areas like Detroit.”

"Air pollution disproportionately impacts communities of color, and we’ve seen the ramifications of this with the COVID-19 crisis here in Michigan,” said Kindra Weid, RN, and coalition coordinator of MI Air MI Health. “Pollution has numerous serious health consequences and this study provides more evidence for why our leaders need to take urgent action to combat climate change and these environmental injustices. Michigan is one of the worst states when it comes to negative health outcomes linked to air quality. In order to protect the health of our residents and our children- especially our African American mothers and babies who are at greatest risk- we need environmental agencies and leaders at ALL levels to take the information from this study and the threat of climate change seriously.”

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