Is Climate Change Affecting Your Health?

Written by Communications, January 4, 2019

Survey of Local Residents to Collect Environmental Health Data

Peterborough Public Health invites local residents to share their input on climate change, and play a vital role in shaping future programming in local public health.

“The international community is calling on all health-related organizations like Peterborough Public Health to be more proactive in making the links between climate change and human health to help build awareness,” explained Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “That is why we have included questions about climate change-related attitudes and behaviours in this survey.

From January through April, staff from York University’s Institute for Social Research will randomly survey local residents through phone calls, for the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS – affectionately pronounced “roofus”), a provincial public health surveillance system. Questions will include environmental health topics such as sun safety, heat-related illness protective equipment, impact of climate change on the local community, and public opinion of climate change.

Information gathered from the phone surveys will be used to assess our community’s vulnerability to climate change from a public health perspective. This assessment will describe the current and future health effects of climate change on vulnerable populations, and it will also identify the methods that can be used to help Peterborough County and City adapt to climate change.

Peterborough Public Health is placing a focus on climate change and health, as Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care mandates that an adaptation approach to climate change must be used by each board of health. This is in addition to the evidence showing the negative impacts that climate change has on health, which includes aggravated respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, increased injury and death, and the risk of triggering mental health issues.

The survey is completely voluntary and all responses remain anonymous and confidential. Respondents can refuse to answer any questions if they are not comfortable.

Further information about the surveillance system is available at www.rrfss.ca.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391