Impacts of Climate Change on Indirect Human Exposure to Pathogens and Chemicals from Agriculture

Boxall, Alistair B. A.; Hardy, Anthony; Buelke, Sabine; Boucard, Tatiana; Burgin, Laura; Falloon, Peter D.; Haygarth, Philip M.; Hutchinson, Thomas; Kovats, R. Sari; Leonardi, Giovanni; Levy, Leonard S.; Nichols, Gordon; Parsons, Simon A.; Potts, Laura; Stone, David; Topp, Edward; Turley, David B.; Walsh, Kerry; Wellington, Elizabeth M. H.; Williams, Richard J.. 2009 Impacts of Climate Change on Indirect Human Exposure to Pathogens and Chemicals from Agriculture. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117 (4). 508-514.

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OBJECTIVE: Climate change is likely to impact the nature of pathogens and chemicals in the environment and their fate and transport. Future risks of pathogens and chemicals could therefore be very different than today. In this review we assess the implications of climate change for changes in human exposures to pathogens and chemicals in agricultural systems in the United Kingdom and discuss the subsequent effects on health impacts. DATA SOURCES: We used expert input and literature on: climate change; health effects resulting from exposure to pathogens and chemicals arising from agriculture; inputs of chemicals and pathogens to agricultural systems; and human exposure pathways for pathogens and chemicals in agricultural systems. DATA SYNTHESIS: The current evidence-base for health effects of chemicals and pathogens in the agricultural environment was established. The potential implication of climate change on chemical and pathogen inputs in agricultural systems were determined and the effects of climate change on environmental transport and fate of different contaminant types were explored. These data were combined to assess the implications of climate change in terms of indirect human exposure to pathogens and chemicals in agricultural systems. Recommendations were developed on future research and policy changes to manage any adverse increases in risks. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, climate change is likely to increase human exposures to agricultural contaminants. The magnitude of the increases will be highly dependent on the contaminant type. Risks of many pathogens, particulate and particle-associated contaminants could increase significantly. These increases in exposure can however, in the most part, be managed through targeted research and policy changes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Boorman (to September 2014)
ISSN: 0091-6765
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access Journal
Additional Keywords: agriculture, climate change, environmental fate, health risks, nutrients, pathogens, pesticides
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Agriculture and Soil Science
General > Science Policy
Date made live: 23 Mar 2009 13:06 +0 (UTC)

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