Unchecked global warming could threaten public health and increase health costs by exacerbating ground-level ozone, according to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The report says Virginia is one of the top ten states that will feel the effects.
The report found climate change-induced ozone increases nationwide could result in nearly three million additional serious respiratory illnesses, 5,100 additional infants and seniors hospitalized with serious breathing problems and 944,000 additional missed school days in the United States by 2020.
Along with California, Texas and other states, Virginia is in the top ten states to be hit hardest with associated costs.
These states are most vulnerable because they have a combination of the largest number of residents living in urban areas, large numbers of children and seniors, and high levels of nitrogen oxides and VOC emissions from vehicles and power plants.