Environment, health linked – Metro US

Environment, health linked

Global environment issues are creating greater challenges for local health care officials, says a visiting health-care expert.

Dr. Blake Poland from the University of Toronto was in Edmonton yesterday as part of Capital Health’s Public Health Works Speaker Series discussing how global issues like pollution and world famine affect our health-care system.

As the environment deteriorates because of pollution and overuse, more health issues will spring up, Poland said, creating a direct connection between environmental and social policies.

He used the “plastic island” as an example, detailing how a collection of plastic has gathered off the Pacific Coast from worldwide water currents.

He said that birds have begun to eat the plastics, not only having an adverse affect on the birds, but on the food chain as a whole.

“I think social [issues] and environment [issues] are closely linked,” he said. “We will have a massive domino effect that will affect us here.”

Poland said that while health care will need to be a source of support for the people as the worldwide condition worsens, people can do their own part by dealing with global issues straight on.

The next speaker as part of the health series will be Dr. Don Spady, who’ll be at the University of Alberta on June 17 to speak on peak oil and its influence on health.

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