US Climate and Health Alliance

Public Health, Energy & Climate Change: A Survey of Maryland Residents


Air pollution – closely followed by chemicals, flu epidemics, insect-borne disease, and obesity – stands at the top of risks that Marylanders say pose a significant threat to their personal health. Seventy percent of state residents say air pollution is a major or moderate risk to their health, with those in the urban corridor between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore citing it the most frequently as a major health risk (35% versus 25% or less in other regions). Exposure to chemicals, including pesticides, falls just behind air pollution (67% major/moderate risk) in Maryland residents’ health concerns, followed by flu epidemics and insect-borne diseases (62%), and obesity (56%). Climate change ranks eighth on the list of personal health risks that Marylanders are concerned about, but many of the other health threats that residents said were bigger risks – including air pollution, insect-borne diseases, violent storms, and polluted drinking water – can be caused or made worse by climate change. For example, higher temperatures increase ground-level ozone pollution, which in turn impairs lung function, and changes in the region’s climate can create conditions conducive to new insect-borne diseases.

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Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
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Health and Human Impact
Public opinion

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