22 April 2010

The Director of UQ's National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (EnTox) has welcomed a new report released today on the potential impacts of climate change on human health.

The report has been released by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in the United States.

Entitled �A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change�, it is available online via www.niehs.nih.gov/climatereport.

The Report provides a starting point for coordination of research to better understand climate�s impact on human health and covers 11 categories of human disease and suffering including cancer, infectious disease, and abnormal childhood development.

"Global climate change is expected to have a major impact on the Australian environment in the foreseeable future,� said Professor Matti Lang, Director of EnTox.

�This report for the first time provides a comprehensive assessment of what might happen to human health due to these changes and what we need to know to protect public health.

"We are fortunate to be hosting the lead author on the report, Dr Chris Portier of the NIEHS, who is currently on research sabbatical at EnTox

"Dr Portier has proven to be an invaluable resource on climate change and other environmental issues."

Professor Lang said the report was particularly relevant to Australia as it highlighted the link between the environment and human health and the countless human health impacts that could be expected from climate change.

"Climate change is certain to affect all aspects of our environment and related to that, the quality, quantity and costs associated with air, food and water.

"The report identifies many risks that public health is confronted with as a result of climate change but equally outlines a broad range of research needs to improve our understanding of the direct links between environment and human health."

The National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology is a Centre of Excellence at The University of Queensland conducting multidisciplinary research directed at environmental health issues arising from exposure to substances in the environmental.

EnTox�s approach places major emphasis on environmental health risk assessment as the basis for research and training needs.

Media: Leanne Brennan, Centre Manager, National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology (Entox)
The University of Queensland, Phone 07 3000 9196