Wildfires are common globally. Wildfires in form of bush fires, vegetation fires, forest fires, heath and grass fires, are prevalent throughout the world. A fire has been an important factor in the dynamics of Earth’s climate and in the development of biomes since its widespread occurrence began 400-350 million years ago. Unlike other natural hazards such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, fire is perceived as an avoidable risk and enormous resources are directed towards fire suppression efforts, particularly in the more developed world. Wildfire and other biomass smoke exposures are increasingly recognized as an important public health issue. In 2012, wildfires in the US contributed over half of all estimated methane emissions, and 20% of all fine particulate emissions. In a study by Rittmaster et al. in Canada, approximately one-third of all particulate emissions came from forest fires.
Some impacts of wildfires:
- Toxicology of wildfire smoke: Wildfire smoke consists of particulate matter and gaseous products of combustion. Adverse health effects, including an increase in daily mortality, have been linked to air pollution associated with bushfires and dust storms. Gas emissions including carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and benzene are produced, as are carcinogens including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aldehydes, and volatile organize compounds. As the fires are open-air, the direct health effect of these toxins is likely to be low as their concentration is quickly dispersed, and toxins such as carbon monoxide are unlikely to cause immediate clinical concern.
- Studies of the effects of particulate matter in wildfire smoke: PM10 from wildfires appear to have different effects on health than urban PM10. An 8 year study investigating air pollution levels, including those from bushfires, and hospital admissions showed that a 10 µg/m3increase in bushfire (but not urban) PM10 was associated with a 1.24% increase in all respiratory admissions, a 3.80% increase in COPD admission and a 5.02% increase in adult asthma admissions.
- Respiratory systems
- Heat-induced illness
- Cardiovascular effects
- Water and land pollution
About Amazon fire happening in the Amazon region 2019. Click the video below to know in detail about the fire.
Video Taken from www.aljazeera.com
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