(CBS NEWS) -- Climate change isn’t just happening in the Arctic Circle and Antarctica where more ice is melting year after year. Its impact is being felt right here at home, and it’s posing a threat to the health of millions of Americans, say doctors representing 11 top U.S. medical societies. They are joining forces in Washington, D.C., today to speak out about the health risks posed by climate change.
They announced the formation of a new organization, the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health — made up of family physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians, allergists, internists and other medical experts — and are meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss their concerns. More than half of all U.S. doctors are members of one of the participating groups, which include the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
They’ll also present a new report, “Medical Alert! Climate Change is Harming Our Health,” which includes scientific evidence and accounts from doctors who see climate change exacerbating a wide range of health issues, including:
- Heart and lung diseases associated with air pollution and wildfires
- Heat-related health dangers
- The spread of infectious disease
- Flood and extreme weather-related physical and mental health problems