Canadian Medical Association recognizes link between
good health and good environment

UPdate Fall 2007

A survey released by the Canadian Medical Association as part of their Report Card on Health, 2007, shows that an overwhelming majority of Canadians are concerned about environmental impacts on their health. It does seem like the link between good health and a good environment is a real one, and that Canadians are aware of this and concerned in many areas, stated CMA President Dr. Colin McMillan

Health impacts relating to climate change were the top issue identified by those polled, including the potential for climate change to spread disease (82%). Also topping the areas of concerns were the impact of environmental standards in other countries on imported fruits and vegetables (88%), pesticides (75%), air pollution (79%), soil contamination (73%) and water quality (71%).

The survey found that environment and health care were each rated as the most pressing issue facing Canada by 29% of respondents compared to education at 11% and the economy at 5%. Its interesting that no other issues are even in the same ballpark in terms of their importance and relevance to Canadians, Dr. McMillan reflected.

Over one quarter of respondents reported that they had sought medical treatment for a problem they believe was caused by the environment. This is the first year that the CMA report card on health has focused on the link between health and environment.