The climate crisis impacts on women's health

A new study shares some important results on the topic

by Lorenzo Ciotti
The climate crisis impacts on women's health
© Paula Bronstein / Staff Getty Images

Analyzing global data on CO₂ emissions, it is clear that some countries have a greater impact than others in the climate crisis.

Currently, the countries that emit the largest amount of CO₂ are China, the United States and India, in that order. However, if we consider the overall quantity of CO₂ emitted into the atmosphere over the course of history, the picture changes.

The United States leads the list, followed by China and Russia. Finally, if we examine the impact of CO₂ emissions in relation to the population, i.e. we evaluate the quantity of CO₂ produced per inhabitant, the nations that stand out are Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Mental health
Mental health© Keystone / Stringer Getty Images

The climate crisis impacts on women's health

The study: Climate and Environmental Crisis impacts on Women's health: What specificities? What can be done? published on the Gynécologie, obstétrique, fertilityé & sénologie, attempted to do a retrospective on the topic.

The researchers explain:

"Pollution is one of the world's largest risk factors for disease and premature death. In Europe, it is responsible for approximately 20% of mortality. Chemicals exposure can occur by inhalation, ingestion or skin contact and begins in utero. Pollutants can be divided into three categories: endocrine disruptors, heavy metals and nanomaterials.Climate change and air pollution are other main health threats.

Endocrine disruptors are identified as significant risk factors for the reproductive health with negative documented impacts following prenatal or adult exposure. Climate change and air pollution can cause gender-based health disparities.

Numerous scientific arguments show that chemical pollution and climate change disproportionately impact women, both on a social and biological level. Populations in precarious situations among which women are over-represented suffer the most severe social consequences including in France.

There are several gender-specific domestic or occupational exposures to pollutants, most often to the disadvantage of women compared to men. Finally, although very few gendered data exist in environmental health, there are gender-based physiological vulnerabilities concerning the metabolism of pollutants and the capacity to adapt to heat.

Facing this threat of gender inequity in sexual and reproductive health and rights' breadth, women's health professionals have a major role to play in initiating new ways to assess and reduce the environmental health burden in women."