Greenhouse gases endanger health, says US agency

In a document that had been kept under wraps since the end of 2007, the United States Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged on Monday that greenhouse-gas emissions endanger human health, Reuters reported.

Agency scientists said that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" and that potential health risks include: heat waves, floods, droughts, insect outbreaks, wildfires, crop failures and decreased productivity in livestock and fisheries.

The 149-page document posted on EPA’s website was part of the agency’s response to a Supreme Court ruling in April 2007 that greenhouse gases can be regulated as a pollutant under the US Clean Air Act.

"It’s of critical importance," said attorney Vickie Patton of Environmental Defense, "because it looks at the extensive body of science demonstrating that global warming threatens Americans’ health and well-being." The administration of president George W Bush has opposed economy-wide moves to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.

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