President Obama: Climate change has direct impact on health

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President Barack Obama says his memory of the fear over his daughter's preschool asthma attacks brings home the debate over climate change. (WPVI)

President Obama is talking climate change - not just about power plants and greenhouse gases, but about how the warming of the planet affects our health.

It's a new way of thinking about climate change - linking it to public health.

And that's what President Obama did on Wednesday.

He joined the U-S surgeon general, the head of the E-P-A and others for a round-table discussion at Howard University.

They noted that doctors say they're seeing more health problems related to the environment, such as allergies and asthma.

And the president spoke from personal experience on how the environment has affected him.

"When I went to college in Los Angeles in 1979, if you went outside for a run, you would feel your lungs burn for about 5 minutes, because the pollution was so bad," he said.

He did recognize improvements have been made there since that time.

He also told ABC News medical editor Doctor Richard Besser that his daughter Malia's asthma attacks also brought home the issue of climate change and the environment.
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healthhealthcheckpollutionclimate changehealthpresident barack obama
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