NEHA March 2024 Journal of Environmental Health

References Amjad, S., Chojecki, D., Osornio-Vargas, A., & Ospina, M.B. (2021). Wildfire expo- sure during pregnancy and the risk of adverse birth outcomes: A systematic review. Environment International, 156 , Article 106644. envint.2021.106644 Asim, M., Sathian, B., van Teijlingen, E., Mek- kodathil, A.A., Babu, M.G.R., Rajesh, E., Kumar, R.N., Simkhada, P., & Banerjee, I. (2022). A survey of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression among flood aŒected populations in Kerala, India. Nepal Journal of Epidemiology , 12 (2), 1203–1214. v12i2.46334 Bekkar, B., Pacheco, S., Basu, R., & DeNicola, N. (2020). Association of air pollution and heat exposure with preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth in the US: A sys- tematic review. JAMA Network Open , 3 (6), e208243. etworkopen.2020.8243 Dzekem, B.S., Aschebrook-Kilfoy, B., & Olo- pade, C.O. (2024). Air pollution and racial disparities in pregnancy outcomes in the United States: A systematic review. Jour- nal of Racial and Ethnic Health Dispari- ties, 11, 535–544. s40615-023-01539-z Gorman-Murray, A., Dominey-Howes, D., & McKinnon, S. (2019). LGBTI experiences of disasters in the Antipodes. The Gender Security Project. https://researchdirect. uws:53735 Hayden, M.H., Schramm, P.J., Beard, C.B., Bell, J.E., Bernstein, A.S., Bieniek-Tobasco, A., Cooley, N., Diuk-Wasser, M., Dorsey, M.K., Ebi, K.L., Ernst, K.C., Gorris, M.E., Howe, P.D., Khan, A.S., Lefthand-Begay, C., Maldonado, J., Saha, S., Shafiei, F., Vaid- yanathan, A., & Wilhelmi, O.V. (2023). Human health (Chap. 15). In A.R. Crim- mins, C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kun- kel, B.C. Stewart, & T.K. Maycock (Eds.), Fifth national climate assessment . U.S. Global Change Research Program. https:// Hoyert, D.L. (2023, March 16). Maternal mor- tality rates in the United States, 2021. Cen- ters for Disease Control and Prevention. continued on page 16

eases, and improved sexual and reproductive health (Mailloux et al., 2021). One example of local climate action might be organizing urban gardens and tree canopies in your community. Tree cover can result in an 18–36 °F reduction in surface temperature (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008), which can help to immediately protect women’s health from the impacts of extreme heat. As an environmental health professional, you can make a difference right now by helping people understand and prioritize actions that minimize the harm of climate change on women. UN Women (2022) provides advice on how to support climate action for women, including the following: • Include women in decision-making pro- cesses related to environmental policies and planning. •Advocate for and conduct research that focuses on climate change impacts and solu- tions for women of diverse backgrounds. • Use your voice to support women-led cli- mate change organizations. Whether in your professional role or your community, environmental health professionals are trusted voices that can drive policymakers and the broader public to take action. Make sure to have climate change conversations—especially conversations focused on solutions and their immediate benefits—with your friends, family, colleagues, and others in your community. A tool that can help with the first step of getting involved is Moving Forward: A Guide for Health Professionals to Build Momentum on Climate Action (Rehr & Perkowitz, 2019). This guide provides guidance and tools to reduce energy use, build resilient health clinics and health departments, and advocate for climate solutions that prioritize health and equity. While the risks of climate change for women’s health can be distressing and daunting, we have tools to not only reduce harm but also address long-standing disparities and inequities. Intersectional problems demand intersectional solutions— our actions on climate will build toward equitable health and well-being. Corresponding Author: Nicole Hill, Research and Marketing Manager, ecoAmerica, 1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Suite 200, Wash- ington, DC 20036. Email:

2021). Addressing these issues requires a multifaceted approach that combines emer- gency response measures with long-term community resilience strategies to reduce risk and alleviate disproportionate impacts. The impacts that women face from climate change exist within larger social and environ- mental health drivers. Climate change is con- sidered a threat multiplier as it exacerbates existing inequalities. For instance, women of color and lower incomes face a higher risk of harm from climate change. Further, Black and Hispanic pregnant individuals are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy out- comes from air pollution exposure compared with non-Hispanic White pregnant individu- als (Dzekem et al., 2024). Research also shows that transgender women can face a disruption to healthcare access during climate disasters, resulting in significant harm to their physical and men- tal health. Emergency shelters, for example, often provide male- or female-only facilities, excluding people who identify beyond gen- der and sex binaries. Transgender people, including transgender women, might experi- ence increased vulnerability during disasters because of the possible interruption of specific health and medical needs (Gorman-Murray et al., 2019). Recognizing the interconnectedness of gender, climate, health, and other identi- ties like race, ethnicity, age, and sexuality is crucial for developing holistic solutions that address the root causes of vulnerabilities and promote resilience. Integrating gender per- spectives into the environmental health field and climate policies is essential for fostering sustainable and equitable solutions. Environmental health professionals, fortu- nately, are well equipped to make a diŒerence on the issue of climate change and women’s health. There are actions to take in the work- place, at home, and in your community to help mitigate climate change and prepare for its impacts. One of the benefits of tak- ing action—beyond the physical health ben- efits—is providing a greater sense of security and self-e“cacy. Climate solutions are not just for future generations; research shows that climate action can bring immediate health benefits such as improved air quality, increased physi- cal activity, improved nutrition and food secu- rity, reduced risk of emerging infectious dis-


March 2024 • Journal of Environmental Health

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