In The News

New Report from Colorado Health Institute on Connection Between Climate Change and Health in Colorado

Posted on July 10, 2017 

The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) today released a research brief that identifies the Coloradans most at risk of adverse health outcomes related to climate change.

Titled “Colorado’s Climate and Colorado’s Health: Examining the Connection,” the paper finds that rising temperatures, polluted air and wildfires are the climate change results expected to most affect the health of Coloradans.

The new report marks the first research by CHI, an independent and nonpartisan health policy research institute, into the impact of climate change on health. It was prompted by the growing body of scientific research connecting the two. 

A great deal of work is being done at the intersection of climate change and health. The American Public Health Association, for instance, has designated 2017 the year of climate change and health, calling climate change the nation’s greatest public health challenge.

Colorado’s children, seniors and people with lung or heart disease are especially at risk, the CHI paper reports.

Some of the findings, by category:

Rising temperatures.

Colorado’s average temperature has increased by two degrees Fahrenheit in the past 30 years, significantly outpacing historical trends. Extreme heat affects cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems. Coloradans who will be most impacted:

  • Almost six percent of Colorado’s adults have cardiovascular disease, putting them at an increased risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • The state’s 1.2 million children are especially vulnerable. Children absorb more heat than adults because they have a greater ratio of skin surface to weight.
  • The 711,000 seniors over age 65 are at increased risk because chronic illness and age can hinder their ability to regulate body temperature.
  • The seven percent of Colorado’s adults with diabetes can have trouble cooling their bodies on hot days, a result of damage to blood vessels and nerves that impact sweat glands.

Air quality.

Changes in weather patterns — even slight modifications of wind, temperature, humidity or cloud level — increase pollutants such as ozone, carbon dioxide and particulate matter, which in turn impact overall air quality. Health implications include breathing problems and extended allergy seasons. Coloradans who will be most impacted:

  • Seniors with bronchitis or emphysema.
  • The 107,000 children with asthma.
  • The approximately 380,000 adults with asthma.
  • The 180,000 Colorado adults with respiratory ailments such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
  • Coloradans who are prone to pollen and mold allergies.


Climate and weather strongly influence the health of forests and the intensity and size of wildfires. Health implications include asthma attacks, coughing, chest pain, and eye and nose irritation. Vulnerable Coloradans include:

  • Coloradans who live in the wildland-urban interface areas, more than two million residents in 2012.
  • Coloradans with COPD, asthma, and lung cancer.
  • People with cardiovascular disease.

The study's primary authors are CHI analysts Chrissy Esposito and Maggie Bailey. 

For More Information

303.831.4200 or [email protected]


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Help CPHA With HB17-1306: Drinking Water Lead Testing At Public Schools

Posted: June 13, 2017

Meeting notice 

We are seeking input for the development of a grant program for lead testing at eligible public schools. We are holding meetings to inform and solicit feedback on the proposed rule, including the project prioritization system that will be used to distribute available funds. 

Please join our email list to receive updates. In the future, we will only send to those who have signed up on this list.   

Meeting details
June 22, 2017 (2-4 p.m.)
June 28, 2017 (1-3 p.m.)
July 20, 2017 (1-3 p.m.) (to discuss the final proposal to the Water Quality Control Commission)

The first two webinars are the same information. The third and final webinar is when we will discuss the final proposal to the commission based on comments received. 

Meeting materials -  Materials to be discussed at the meeting are available on our website

Rulemaking hearing
The Colorado General Assembly passed legislation (HB17-1306) to establish a lead testing program to assist public schools with conducting lead testing within the school’s drinking water system. As a result, we are seeking stakeholder feedback and input for a lead testing in public schools grant program. Stakeholder input will be incorporated into a proposal for the Water Quality Control Commission. The commission will conduct a rulemaking hearing on November 13, 2017 to consider amendments to the existing rules of the Water Quality Improvement Fund (Regulation 55). The amendments to Regulation 55 will establish criteria for the award of grants to complete lead testing.

If you have questions regarding the grant program, please contact:

Michael Beck
[email protected]

Randi Johnson-Hufford
[email protected]


Learn More About Public Health Finance!

Posted: June 7, 2017


Do You Have A Story You want To Share In The Newsletter? 

Posted: June 6, 2017

The Colorado Public Health Association wants to share your story! Let’s highlight all the great work we are doing as agencies, within our programs, and as individuals. Our newsletter is a way for us to connect as professionals and keep abreast on the important work we are doing across Colorado. Click here to let us know about your story or announcement.

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