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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Climate Change

Climate change poses a wide range of risks to the health of Canadians including impacts related to extreme weather events and natural hazards, air quality, stratospheric ozone depletion and water-, food-, vector- and rodent-borne diseases. The World Health Organization has called on health agencies to assess health vulnerabilities to climate change and take proactive adaptive actions. Recent events such as flooding in Manitoba (2011), Calgary (2013), Toronto (2013) and Windsor (2016), extreme heat events in Montreal (2009) and wildfires in northern Ontario (2011) demonstrate the very severe impacts climate-related events can have on communities.

Officials at the Middlesex-London Health Unit have identified climate change as a potentially significant hazard to residents and are seeking information which can be used to guide efforts to address the growing risks to health. The Assessment of Vulnerability to the Health Impacts of Climate Change in Middlesex-London (PDF 9MB) reports on the results of an assessment of vulnerability of people living in Middlesex-London to the health impacts of climate change.


Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change

This report employed new assessment methods developed by the World Health Organization (2012) and took a participatory approach involving meetings with community leaders, and public health and emergency management officials to discuss preliminary findings and adaptation options. The results are based on a scientific literature review; analysis of community health and meteorological data; and projections of future climate conditions related to extreme heat, flooding, air pollution and the Lyme disease vector.

Report Conclusions

Health risks from climate change are growing for people living in Middlesex County and London and actions are needed to address potential impacts. Middlesex-London has a variable climate that can experience severe cold spells and also extreme heat events. There has been a general warming of temperatures and more snow is falling as rain while summers are getting drier. General warming is expected to lead to specific health risks; for example, more smog in southern Ontario in the absence of further pollutant emissions controls.

What's next?

The Middlesex-London Health Unit will work with municipalities to develop approaches to promote healthy built and natural environments to enhance population health and decrease environmental health risks, as indicated in the Healthy Environments and Climate Change Guideline, 2018 (PDF 417KB). These approaches include healthy environment strategies, climate change adaptation and reducing environmental exposures.

Front page of the MLHU's climate change report

View, download and print:


Check out London’s 2014-2018 Community Energy Action Plan


Additional Information

To speak to a Public Health Inspector on the Environmental Health Team about climate change, please call:

  • 519-663-5317 ext. 2300
Date of creation: December 3, 2014
Last modified on: July 17, 2019