Climate Change & Health Impacts

In addition to economic, environmental, and social factors, the impact of climate change on the health of community members is also a growing issue.  During the interviews and focus group discussions, participants were asked:

  • Has climate change impacted your health?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your health?
  • How are you responding or adapting to the effects of climate change on your health?

The responses throughout the communities touched on an underlying theme of respiratory health.

Highlights of Key Issues
“My son has asthma and in the summer time I listen to the radio and the air quality advisory council … I have got to keep him in[side] otherwise it is harder for him, he doesn’t go into a full blown attack, but it is harder for him to be outside and breathe and you know there are three or four [kids] in his class that have asthma whereas when I was going to school there was like one or two kids in the entire school that had [it], now it is a reality.” – Quesnel

“Wood smoke is another big issue, and with the cost of fuel and hydro going up, a lot of people are going back to wood smoke and yeah, it’s a real situation …” – Quesnel

“I ride my bike a lot more, so physically I am probably in better shape than before, but I also started to have breathing problems from riding my bike on full …breathing problems, so I think it goes hand in hand here …”  Prince George

“High risk for maternity, they have even come to the point of having a respiratory therapist in the hospital which is quite unusual for small towns.” – Quesnel

“I was sick for four months last semester and yeah I had like [a] horrible cough, like asthma and stuff, I was not well, it was just like school or weather or you know the air, it is hard to say.” – TRU Eco Club

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