Environmental Health Indicators of Climate Change in the United States: Findings from the State Environmental Health Indicator Collaborative

This article, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, presents research on the public health impacts of climate change. The report describes surveillance indicators for practitioners and policy makers that include climate-sensitive health outcomes and environmental and vulnerability indicators, as well as mitigation, adaptation, and policy indicators of climate change. The report's environmental health indicators can serve as inputs into human health vulnerability assessments and be used in public health actions. Indicators described in the report can help assess positive and negative environmental determinants of health in order to identify areas for intervention and prevention and to evaluate the outcomes of specific policies or programs aimed at improving public health.

The report states that data on adaptation indicators are sparse. However, potential adaptation indicators include community access to cooling centers during heat waves (and transportation to the centers), heat wave early warning systems, municipal heat island mitigation plans, surveillance systems per state that collect data on the human health effects of climate change, and a public health workforce trained in climate change research, surveillance, or adaptation. A city or region may also set up an adaptation climate change task force that includes a representative from the health sector.

Proposed indicators related to water supply and quality include drought, harmful algal blooms, and flooding.



Publication Date: November 2009

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Paul B. English
  • Amber H. Sinclair
  • Zev Ross
  • Henry Anderson
  • Vicki Boothe
  • Christine Davis
  • Kristie L. Ebi
  • Betsy Kagey
  • Kristen Malecki
  • Rebecca Shultz
  • Erin Simms

Related Organizations:

  • Environmental Health Perspectives


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Indicators


Go To Resource