The American Public Health Association (APHA) applauds Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for introducing a resolution on the critical relationship between public health and global warming. Additionally, APHA recognizes the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, chaired by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass), for coordinating a hearing on the issue.

The resolution and hearing coincide with this year’s observance of National Public Health Week, April 7-13, which focuses on the link between climate change and human health.

“With growing recognition of the important connection between climate change and our health, we are pleased that our leaders in Congress are taking on this important issue,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “It will take change at all levels of government and in all sectors of society to meaningfully address this issue. This week’s hearing and resolutions are certainly a step in the right direction.”

The resolution (S. Res. 509) recognizes the connection between the changes in the world’s climate and health concerns like the global burden of disease, premature death and other adverse health impacts due to extreme weather events, changes in infectious disease patterns, air quality, water and food quality and quantity, and other significant health impacts.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing Thursday to explore these pivotal issues. The hearing follows a hearing Wednesday on the same issue in the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.