With global warming, forest fires are likely to increase in the coming years. The dangers of these fires on flora and fauna are known, but what about humans?
The health impact of forest fires worries Canadian scientific authorities, where several large-scale fires have ravaged part of the west of the country in recent years. Almost all organ systems are affected by air pollution from smoke from forest fires, according to Michael Brauer of the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Medicine. Which also includes man.
More and more examples
The differences between air pollution by fine particles and that linked to forest fires are not numerous, argues the professor specializing in the environment, who does not want to comment on the cumulative effect of smoke, however. year after year. But we know that air pollution worsens cases of heart disease, chronic and respiratory diseases, or even stroke.
In fact, people with asthma or chronic lung disease feel the impact of smoke pollution from forest fires. The latter can also affect pregnant women in their last trimester. There are more and more observations concerning the consequences of smoke on type 2 diabetes for example, or even on heart attacks.
The persistence in the air of particles from forest fires remains to be proven, however there are more and more examples where this seems to be demonstrated. We must tackle the problem from several sides: on the one hand, prepare for these unfortunately regular and devastating episodes of forest fires, and on the other hand fight against the climate change that feeds these fires.
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