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Global warming poses a health threat, EPA report says

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Climate change poses ‘substantial’ health threats in the coming decades, including heat waves, hurricanes and pathogens, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report released Thursday.

A story in today’s paper from the Washington Post discusses such a prospect, which comes on the heels of an EPA decision last week not to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

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‘It is very likely’ that more people will die during extremely hot periods in future years, with the elderly, the poor and those in inner cities at the highest risk, an EPA report found. Other possible dangers include more powerful hurricanes, shrinking supplies of fresh water in the West, and the increased spread of diseases contracted through food and water.

In Washington and other Eastern cities, the report said, a warmer climate is likely to produce more bad-air days, because heat speeds up the process by which exhaust byproducts are cooked into smog. The report also found that warming temperatures are likely to mean more periods of sustained summer heat.

-- Tami Abdollah


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