Environmental Health and Climate Change

In recognition of the numerous and serious adverse health consequences resulting from pollution, greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, climate change and ozone layer depletion, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends strong action on the part of all public and private institutions to reduce pollution of our land, atmosphere, and water. Pollution, human greenhouse gas emissions, and ozone depletion lead to numerous severe consequences, including climate change and poor health outcomes. Those consequences more often affect vulnerable populations.

The AAFP opposes any federal or state government actions to reduce public access to environmental health research data. The AAFP also opposes any actions taken by local, state, or national governments that weaken existing stream and air protections.

The AAFP will continue to work with other health care organizations to inform the public and policymakers about the harmful health effects of climate change. The AAFP will also highlight highlights the immediate and long-term health benefits associated with decreased greenhouse gas emissions and clean air and water.

The AAFP recognizes that toxins and chemicals are the proximate cause of certain diseases, and pollution in water and air aggregates in human bodies through a variety of channels, including dermal contact, ingestion, inhalation, and bioaccumulation. The AAFP supports policies to research and manage toxic environmental exposures, particularly those that can cause irreversible damage to health, especially the health of members of vulnerable populations. (1969) (2018 BOD)