Massachusetts Medical Society: Environmental Health

Environmental Health

Environmental Health and Human Health

Addressing climate change is the greatest public health opportunity of the 21st century, according to the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change. Climate change is affecting human health around the world, today, including in the United States. The US Global Change Research Program calls climate change “a significant threat to the health of the American people.”

The Massachusetts Medical Society recognizes inextricable link between environmental health, animal health, and human health, and the importance of scientific research in informing policies that protect human health from environmental toxins.

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Vital Signs – The Environmental Health Issue
Read about the health effects of climate change and what physicians have to say about it in the summer issue of the Massachusetts Medical Society member newsletter.

New England Journal of Medicine Climate Crisis and Health site A collection of articles and other resources describing effects of climate change on physical and psychological health and on the function of health care systems, including resources to support action by physicians and other health care professionals. 

Tools for your practice
Pollutants related to health care leads to an annual loss of 405,000-470,000 years of healthy life.[1] The Massachusetts Medical Society recognizes the importance of promoting health industry practices that minimize harm to public health and the environment, without compromising patient care. Learn what steps you can take to reduce the environmental—and health—impact of your practice.

Climate Change Toolkit
A resource from the American College of Physicians. Includes regional talking points and education tools aimed at health care professionals and patients.

Climate Change Health Effects 101
Physicians for Social Responsibility provides resources for health professionals to learn about the health consequences of climate change and to advocate for policy change.

The Medical Society Consortium for Climate and Health
The Consortium recognizes the importance of health professionals’ involvement in policy-making at the local, state, national, and global level, and provides reports, education, and advocacy opportunities for health care professionals. 


[1] Eckelman, M.J., Sherman, J., Environmental Impacts of the U.S. Health Care System and Effects on Public Health. PLoS One, 2016. 11(6): p. e0157014.

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