Stories about: global warming

Climate change: A threat to our kids’ health

Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH, is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment and a pediatric hospitalist at Children’s Hospital Boston. He strives to promote a deeper understanding of the health effects of global environmental change, and is coauthor of Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Remember last July? It was hot. During a three-day swelter early in the month, the mercury topped 100°F in Boston for only about the twelfth time in the past century. I wasn’t surprised when I found myself caring for many kids at Children’s who wound up with asthma attacks that left them gasping for air, while just trying to enjoy a summer day. Heat catalyzes the production of ground-level ozone, a potent lung irritant.

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