People are concerned about the impact on their health of the climate warming and stratospheric ozone depletion that Europe has been experiencing for the last century. This work attempts to clarify what early effects environmental changes such as global warming and stratospheric ozone depletion are having on our health, and what further effects they may have in the future. what is certain is that more frequent thermal stress, associated or not with air pollution, causes illness and death, especially among the elderly; extreme weather events such as floods cause death, illness and material damage; some water- and food borne diseases increase during extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall and heatwaves; malaria could increase with climate warming; and ozone depletion increases skin cancer and weakens the immune system. While much is still uncertain about the precise relationship between changes in the climate and changes in disease patterns, the need for action is clear: action either to reduce the climate change itself, or to reduce its harmful effects.
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