|Government Report Says Global Warming May Cause Cancer, Mental Illness
News | April 28, 2010
Planet Earth. (CNSNews.com) – A new government report says global warming could lead to an increase in both cancer and mental illness worldwide, and it calls for more federally funded research to determine how that might happen.
The report, A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change, was published by the Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health – a combination of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NIH, State Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Agriculture, the EPA, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The report's overall thrust is for more federally funded research to investigate the alleged links between global warming and public health, including the potentially negative effects from warming and the potentially negative side-effect of green technologies.
While the report touches on, for example, the health effects of unclean water and respiratory ailments, it also deals with two other types of health issues not normally associated with global warming: cancer and mental illness.
While the report does not claim that global warming will cause new types of cancer, it says that “higher ambient temperatures” caused by global warming will have an effect on cancer rates, probably pushing them higher.
“There are potential impacts on cancer both directly from climate change and indirectly from climate change mitigation strategies,” the report said.
This increased risk supposedly comes from increased exposure to toxic chemicals, caused by global warming. The report also said that global warming would cause heavy rainfall, which would wash these toxic chemicals into the water. Hotter temperatures may also make these toxic chemicals even more toxic.
“One possible direct impact of climate change on cancer may be through increases in exposure to toxic chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer following heavy rainfall and by increased volatilization of chemicals under conditions of increased temperature,” states the report.
Another way that global warming will cause more cancer, the report said, was from increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is known to cause some types of skin cancer. While UV exposure happens every time you go out into the sun, the report said that global warming will make it worse, leading to potentially more skin cancer.
“Another direct effect of climate change, depletion of stratospheric ozone, will result in increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure. UV radiation exposure increases the risk of skin cancers and cataracts,” the report stated.
The report also highlighted a surprising way that global warming may cause more cancer: the development of green technologies. Green technologies often involve exotic metals and alloys that, according to the report, may cause cancer.
“Increased use of NiMH [nickel-metal-hydride] batteries [used in hybrid and electric cars] will necessarily require significant increases in nickel production and the impacts associated with nickel mining and refining,” states the report. “High-level nickel exposure is associated with increased cancer risk, respiratory disease, and birth defects; the same is true with certain other metals, especially cadmium and lead [used in solar cells and batteries].
“Increased production of solar cells also can lead to increased environmental risks,” reads the report. “For example, cadmium-tellurium (CdTe) compounds in photovoltaic systems and the potential for increased cadmium emissions from mining, refining, and the manufacture, utilization, and disposal of photovoltaic modules. Cadmium and cadmium compounds like CdTe are classified as known human carcinogens.”
Despite these warnings and predictions, the report admitted that the government knows little about whether or not any of these supposed new causes of cancer will actually cause any more cancer.