Impacts of Heat Waves and Poor Air Quality on the Health of Children: An Environmental Justice Issue
Extreme heat, weather and environmental conditions has resulted in abrupt heat waves. As the temperature increases, the frequency of heat waves and decrease in air quality result in potentially dangerous conditions. This has a major impact on the health of humans, but unfortunately, the intensity of its impact is disproportionate among various populations, depending on their socioeconomic status, race, age and neighborhood area. Heat waves have resulted in increased number mortality and morbidity cases. Over the years there has been a rise in respiratory diseases, asthma attacks, heat strokes and visits to emergency departments due to heat among children who are one of the most vulnerable populations. This study focuses on Dallas, Texas, US and Nashville, Tennessee, US regions to study the effects on heat waves, air quality and its correlation with health conditions of children. Our data analysis suggests there is an inequitable distribution of the impacts of climatic conditions among the different Environmental Justice (EJ) communities. This is an issue which needs to be studied further to support lawmakers to create new policies and organizations to take preventive actions to protect children who would have to tolerate extreme weather conditions in the long run. With the proposed data analysis, one expects to support EJ organizations to better explore the impact of heat waves and air quality on the health of children.