How much smoke from a fire can harm your health?

We are witnessing fires becoming more frequent during the summer periods. Aware of the fact that some are more difficult to locate and leave lasting consequences for the environment and human health, foreign scientists have examined how smoke from fires can affect health.


Illustration: Photo / EPA / JOHN G. MABANGLO

Illustration: Photo / EPA / JOHN G. MABANGLO

There is a combination of factors that cause deterioration of air quality, among which are artificial pollutants.Experts say that smoke from fires plays an important role in reducing air quality.

The fires and the smoke they carry will become an increasingly dominant driver of air pollution in the years to come.

In addition, an increasing number of studies indicate adverse health effects, including more deaths and hospitalizations, associated with exposure to secondhand smoke.

Smoking particularly affects the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, because inhaling small particles of smoke causes inflammation and, among other things, reduces lung function. Research shows that it is especially dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women and people with pre-existing diseases.

Cheryl Magzamen, a researcher at the University of Colorado, studying air pollution, found in her study that exposure to smoke is “positively associated with hospitalization for all respiratory outcomes combined, asthma , COPD and acute bronchitis and cardiovascular morbidity “.

Including hospitalizations for all outcomes (cardiovascular disease), cerebrovascular outcomes, heart failure and (ischemic heart disease).

A University of Colorado study has shown that fire fumes sometimes make up more than 50 percent of dangerous particles in the air in the summer months.

“Smoke particles are quite small – 30 times smaller than the hair on your head, they can‘ go deep into your lungs and actually pass into the bloodstream, ’” said Sarah Cofield, who works in the city of Mizula .

The survey was published in August 2020

A California study earlier this year showed that inhalation of smoke particles from fires is “up to 10 times more harmful to human health than (pollution particles) from other sources.”

Although experts still analyze the exact details in the field of research in the field of exposure to fire, there is strong evidence of its harmful effects on health.

A University of Montana study that examined the health of people who were exposed to extremely high levels of smoke particles for a long period of time. It found a “significant decrease in lung function,” and that it was reduced by two years for many residents.

People with comorbidities – such as asthma or COPD – are at higher risk

The symptoms can be treated to some extent. If the hypothesis of CSU researchers is correct, then public messages can help people stay home and be aware of the risks of exposure to smoke.

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2 thoughts on “How much smoke from a fire can harm your health?”

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