Environmental health – Analysis and Comment

The first half of 2019 is the equal hottest on record and summer is set to be a scorcher. Chayathorn Lertpanyaroj/Shutterstock

How rising temperatures affect our health

Average temperatures in Australia are already high by international standards, but what happens when they continue to rise? How much heat can our bodies withstand?
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, is one example of doctors’ involvement on the political stage. Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons

How doctors convinced the world the planet was worth fighting for

Doctors have long taken up global issues, from nuclear war to ozone depletion and climate change, and helped shift the course of history.
Members of a ground crew In Phoenix wrapped wet towels around their necks to cool off when the temperature reached a record of 116°F. Matt York/AP Photo

3 dangers of rising temperatures that could affect your health now

Rising temperatures will not only hurt people in the future. Many are feeling the effects now. Those who work outdoors, those who have certain chronic conditions and the elderly are vulnerable.
These rats are in special cages for urine collection. Every year, millions of animals are used for testing chemicals that are used in industrial products. By unoL/shutterstock.com

AI more accurate than animal testing for spotting toxic chemicals

Testing new industrial chemicals is essential for public health and the environment. But animal testing is costly, and too many chemicals are left untested. A new AI tool may solve the problem.
The Victorian mountain ash forest has been severely affected by fires and logging. To determine the actual health of the forest, we need to look at the quality, not just the quantity of what remains. Graeme/flickr

Why we are measuring the health of Australian vegetation poorly

In the aftermath of fires or logging, conservation needs to focus on recovering the health of the remaining vegetation, not just the size of the forest or woodland.
Warning sign at Kerr-McGee uranium mill site near Grants, N.M., December 20, 2007. AP photo/Susan Montoya Bryan

Before the US approves new uranium mining, consider its toxic legacy

The Trump administration's push for 'energy dominance' could spur a new wave of domestic uranium production. A scholar describes the damage done in past uranium booms and the visible scars that remain.
People collect water piped in from a mountain creek in Utuado, Puerto Rico on Oct. 14, 2017, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans were still without running water. AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

Why climate change is worsening public health problems

Climate change threatens to widen the health gap between the haves and have-nots. Here's why addressing environmental issues that drive poor health is a starting point.
The health benefits of being close to nature are well established. priscilla du preez/Unsplash

Why apartment dwellers need indoor plants

Health benefits of being close to nature are well established, but the rise of apartment living means we can't always be close to greenery.
Dancing sunlight patterns reflected onto an interior ceiling from a wind-disturbed external water surface. Kevin Nute

The next step in sustainable design: Bringing the weather indoors

Research shows that bringing nature indoors, in the form of movement created by light, wind and water, makes occupants calmer and more productive. It also could promote interest in sustainable design.
Wind turbines require massive structures that are polluting to produce and can harm ecosystems, but these impacts compare favorably with those of fossil alternatives. www.shutterstock.com

Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

No energy source is perfect, but solar and wind have a much lower health and environmental footprint than fossil fuels, a study finds. Biopower, though, is a mixed bag.
An innovative water-sensitive project aims to dramatically improve the health of slums and their environment together.

Water-sensitive innovations to transform health of slums and environment

A five-year project announced today will implement an innovative water-sensitive approach tailored to informal settlements. The goal is to revitalise 24 communities in Fiji and Indonesia.