Climate change is affecting the health of Americans. As the climate continues to change, the risks to human health will grow, exacerbating existing health threats and creating new public health challenges. This assessment significantly advances what we know about the impacts of climate change on public health, and the confidence with which we know it. While all Americans will be affected by climate change, the report recognizes populations of concern, such as children, the elderly, outdoor workers, and those living in disadvantaged communities, who are disproportionately vulnerable.
Global Environmental Health
The NIEHS vision, presented in the Strategic Plan for 2012-2017, is to provide “global leadership for innovative research that improves public health by preventing disease and disability.” The NIEHS identifies Global Environmental Health (GEH) as a part of its strategic themes, recognizing that because environmental health problems cross national boundaries, conducting studies around the world benefits not just those in areas being studied, but all people who suffer from the same or related environmental health problems. The inclusion of GEH continues a tradition of NIEHS global leadership and collaboration on solving the most pressing environmental health problems and improving the lives of the most vulnerable populations, both in the United States and around the world.
Global Environmental Health may be defined as:
research, education, training, and research translation directed at health problems that are related to environmental exposures and transcend national boundaries, with a goal of improving health for all people by reducing the environmental exposures that lead to avoidable disease, disabilities and deaths.
Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment
The Global Environmental Health Program assists the NIEHS in achieving its goals in three areas:
Global Environmental Health Research:
Public health improvements must be based on solid scientific understanding of population exposures and their effects. NIEHS, through its global research on health effects and exposure assessment, increases scientific knowledge and understanding of both adverse and beneficial health effects from environmental conditions, with special emphasis on effects on populations in low- and middle-income countries.
Global Environmental Health Translation:
Advances in scientific knowledge must be translated into information that leaders, decision makers, and individuals can understand and use to inform the design and implementation of health protection and promotion actions. NIEHS, through its research translation and outreach activities, aims to improve understanding of global environmental health issues in key target audiences.
Global Environmental Health Scientific Capacity:
NIEHS continues a decades-long commitment to improving the ability of countries around the world to study and solve their specific environmental health problems. We do this by supporting the training of international scientists, both on our campus and around the world; partnering with institutions in other countries to share expertise and maximize resources; and working to improve the scientific knowledge base in other countries by disseminating scientific information on environmental health where the burden of environmental disease is greatest.
NIEHS supports research, research translation, and capacity building in three special topics relevant to Global Environmental Health. For more information, click the links below:
- Cookstoves & Indoor Air
- Climate Change & Human Health
- Global Environmental Health & Sustainable Development
This bimonthly online newsletter provides a snapshot of the NIEHS's current GEH activities, profiles of areas of GEH research, funding information, and useful resources. By partnering with the global health and global environmental communities, in part through information exchanges like this newsletter, NIEHS hopes to build the collaborations that will lead to effective disease prevention and health promotion around the world.
NIEHS-WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Sciences
Many of NIEHS's Global Environmental Health activities are coordinated by the NIEHS-WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Sciences. Designated in September, 2013, the Collaborating Centre is a central part of the Institute's vision to provide global leadership on environmental health issues.
John Balbus, M.D., M.P.H.
Senior Advisor for Public Health
Director, NIEHS-WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Sciences
Tel (301) 496-3511
Fax (301) 496-0563
31 Center Dr
Claude D Pepper Building
Bethesda, MD 20892
NIEHS Global Environmental Health Program Steering Committee
Gwen W. Collman, Ph.D.
Director – Division of Extramural Research & Training
Tel (919) 541-4980
Fax (919) 316-4606
Stephanie J. London, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Deputy Chief, Epidemiology Branch and Principal Investigator
Tel (919) 541-5772
Fax (301) 480-3290
Kimberly Thigpen Tart, J.D., M.P.H.
Tel (919) 541-5377
Mary S. Wolfe, Ph.D.
Deputy Division Director for Policy
Tel (919) 541-7539
Fax (301) 451-5759