Is the hospital industry's reliance on fossil making people sick?
Acording to a Yale School of Medicine Study, hospitals have been found to emit a disproportionate amount of harmful pollutants into the air, compared with other industries. In fact, hospitals' reliance on fossil fuels has contributed to pollution and global warming that can cause or aggravate medical issues.
The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recently concluded that the climate crisis is a public health emergency. Unfortunately, the hospital industry accounts for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions and 9% of other types of harmful air pollutants in the United States. The most vulnerable populations are the least equipped to cope with the illnesses, injuries, and diseases caused or exacerbated by climate change. Patients are suffering from conditions connected to air pollution and climate change, including pulmonary and cardiac problems and infectious diseases.
Sustainability data collected from US hospitals indicated their sustainability initiatives in 2018 had saved $68 million and avoided putting 183,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the air.
The health care industry acknowledges the connections between pollution, climate, and health are increasingly evident and that it needs to reduce its environmental impact to heal those it serves.