Health and Climate Change


Reducing Carbon Pollution Improves Public Health

Climate change increases air pollution which has significant effects on asthma, heart disease, cancer, mental health and emergency department visits

Watch “Protecting Your Health in a Changing Climate” Wednesday 9/28 at 1:00, and “A Healthy Energy System”, at 5:30 pm. Details and registration links are below.

Protecting Your Health in a Changing Climate

Elisa Jazan, Researcher & PhD Candidate, Tufts Civil & Environmental Engineering
Jen Murphy, MPH, Winchester Director of Public Health
Cheryl Sbarra, Executive Director, MA Boards of Public Health
Dr. Richard Weiner, President, Winchester Hospital

Moderated by Dr. Greg Sawicki, Winchester Board of Health; Director, Cystic Fibrosis Center, Boston Children’s Hospital

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
1:00 p.m.

Panel photo

Burning fossil fuels is the source of the greenhouse gases driving climate change, with a cascade of impacts we hear much about, such as extreme storms and high heat as outlined in Winchester’s 2020 Climate Action Plan. 

Our health panelists will consider some impacts climate change has on human health:

  • increases in vector-borne diseases, more frequent closing of recreational waterways, high-heat days
  • PFAS; GHGs emitted by fertilizers; GMO’s; and other environmental pollutants – where they come from and their health effects
  • pressures on our health systems including our local Hospital
  • considerations for MA Boards of Health

Join us to explore how climate change is impacting our health in ways as diverse as high heat, extreme storms, rats, mosquitos, ticks, closing our beaches and affecting our mental health. Hear some of the efforts the professionals in our community are taking to protect public health as climate change continues to impact Winchester. Pre-registration required - please click here to register.

A Healthy Energy System

Speaker: Jonathan Buonocore, Boston University School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
5:30 p.m.

Buonocore Photo
Burning fossil fuels is the source of the greenhouse gases driving climate change, with a cascade of impacts we hear much about, such as extreme storms and high heat as outlined in Winchester’s 2020 Climate Action Plan. 

Dr. Buonocore’s research focuses on the impacts on human health of burning coal, oil, gas, biomass and wood over the past decade, and how we can use this information to build a healthier energy system in our country. Dr. Buonocore will introduce us to the growing concerns regarding small polluting particles called PM2.5 and other impacts on human health.

Join us to explore how transitioning from coal to gas and other energy sources is impacting health in the United States. Pre-registration required - please click here to register.

Climate Solutions Week Health Tips

Healthy Responses to Climate Change, by Melissa Dupuis, MPH, Medford MA

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes, including our current climate crisis. There are many things we don’t have control over when it comes to our environment, however, actions such as what we put in our bodies, on our bodies, and how we live our daily lives can directly affect the future of our planet and our personal health. Here are some things you can do NOW:

How you commute
1. Walk or take your bike as much as you can
2. Take public transportation when you can
3. If you have to drive, carpool
4. If able, try to work flexible hours so you’re not commuting in rush hour or try a hybrid schedule so you’re not commuting every day
5. Purchase a climate-friendly car 
6. Don’t idle

In your home
1. Change to a renewable energy provider
2. Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room
3. Don’t run water while brushing your teeth
4. Use energy-efficient lighting
5. Keep the windows open instead of using AC and keep heating at 68 -70 degrees
6. Recycle and compost 
7. Use rainwater to water your lawn
8. Get rid of plastics and use reusable bags when shopping
9. Use Energy Star appliances
10. Install a low flow showerhead and take shorter showers
11. Do laundry less frequently and air dry whenever possible
12. Purchase eco-friendly cleaning products

In your body
1. Eat seasonally and locally (support your farmers!)
2. Eat organic when possible
3. Stop wasting food. Freeze leftovers
4. Select meat and fish from sustainable sources
5. Try growing your own food when you can
6. Stop smoking

On your body
1. Use carbon-neutral beauty and skincare products – these products don’t add carbon to the atmosphere during production
2. Find detergents that don’t have phosphate, chlorine, bleach, brighteners, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, artificial fragrances, and Dichlorobenzene

Your lifestyle
1. Use reusable bags, water bottles, and mugs
2. Limit the number of plastics you purchase and use