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    How Smoke from Fires Can Affect Your Health

    fire and health information

    How Smoke from Fires Can Affect Your Health

    Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic materials burn. Enter your box content here.

    Smoke may smell good, but it's not good for you

    While not everyone has the same sensitivity to wildfire smoke, it’s still a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. And when smoke is heavy, such as can occur in close proximity to a wildfire, it’s bad for everyone.

    Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic materials burn. The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. They can cause a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases. Exposure to particle pollution is even linked to premature death.

    Some people are more at risk

    It’s especially important for you to pay attention to local air quality reports during a fire if you are

    a person with heart or lung disease, such as heart failure, angina, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma.an older adult, which makes you more likely to have heart or lung disease than younger people.caring for children, including teenagers, because their respiratory systems are still developing, they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults, they’re more likely to be active outdoors, and they’re more likely to have asthma.a person with diabetes, because you are more likely to have underlying cardiovascular disease.a pregnant woman, because there could be potential health effects for both you and the developing fetus.

    How to tell if smoke is affecting you

    High concentrations of smoke can trigger a range of symptoms.

    Anyone may experience burning eyes, a runny nose, cough, phlegm, wheezing and difficulty breathing.If you have heart or lung disease, smoke may make your symptoms worse.People with heart disease might experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue.People with lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath.

    Protect yourself!

    It’s important to limit your exposure to smoke - especially if you are at increased risk for particle-related effects. Here are some steps you can take to protect your health:

    If you have heart, vascular or lung disease, including asthma, talk with your health care provider.

    Prepare for fire season if you live in a fire-prone area.

    If you have heart, vascular or lung disease, including asthma, talk with your health care provider before fire season to make plans. Discuss when to leave the area, how much medicine to have on hand, and your asthma action plan if you have asthma.Have a several-day supply of nonperishable foods that do not require cooking. Cooking - especially frying and broiling - can add to indoor pollution levels.Consider buying an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners can help reduce particle levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your rooms as specified by the manufacturer. If you choose to buy an air cleaner, don’t wait until there’s a fire - make that decision beforehand. Note: Don’t use an air cleaner that generates ozoneEXIT


    . That just puts more pollution in your home.

    Have a supply of N-95 or P-100 masks on hand, and learn how to use them correctlyEXIT. (1 pg., 650KB, 


    about PDF) They are sold at many hardware and home repair stores and online.

    If you have heart, vascular or lung disease, including asthma, talk with your health care provider.

    During a fire

    Pay attention to local air quality reports. As smoke gets worse, the concentration of particles in the air increases - and so should the steps you take to protect yourself. Air quality reports are available through local news media, your local air agency or on airnow.govEXIT


    Use common sense to guide your activities.Even if you don’t have a monitor in your area, if it looks or smells smoky outside, it's probably not a good time to mow the lawn or go for a run. And it's probably not a good time for children - especially children with asthma - to be vigorously active outdoors, or active outdoors for prolonged periods of time. If you are active outdoors, pay attention to symptoms. Symptoms are an indication that you need to reduce exposure.Dust masks aren't enough!Paper “dust” masks or surgical masks will not protect your lungs from the fine particles in wildfire smoke. Scarves or bandanas (wet or dry) won’t help, either. Particulate masks known as N-95 or P-100 respirators will help, but they must fit well and be used correctly. They are sold at many hardware and home repair stores and online.If you are advised to stay indoors, take steps to keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep your windows and doors closed - unless it's extremely hot outside. Run your air conditioner, if you have one. Keep the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. Open windows to air out the house when air quality improves. Note: If you don't have an air conditioner, staying inside with the windows closed may be dangerous in extremely hot weather. In these cases, seek alternative shelter, such as with relatives or a cleaner air shelter.

    Source : www.epa.gov

    The long distance harm done by wildfires

    As each new generation inherits the world, vital knowledge is forgotten. Richard Fisher explores the language that has emerged to describe that phenomenon.


    The long distance harm done by wildfires

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    (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

    By Allison Hirschlag

    24th August 2020

    Smoke from burning forests and peat can linger in the atmosphere for weeks, travelling thousands of miles and harming the health of populations living far away.

    Article continues below


    From far above, they almost look beautiful. Golden yellow tendrils etched across the dark forest landscape below. But in daylight, at close range, the devastation wrought by the fires in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia is harrowing.

    A wall of blistering flames engulfs the vegetation. Behind it, charred trees stand like blackened toothpicks while columns of smoke choke the air, rising high up into the atmosphere. Since the start of 2020, Russia has seen an estimated 19 million hectares (73,359 square miles) consumed by wildfires, according to Greenpeace International’s analysis of satellite images. Nasa has warned that abnormally warm temperatures in eastern Siberia – particularly in the Sakha Republic, more than 1,250 miles (2,000km) away from Krasnoyarsk – have led to more intense and widespread fires than normal.

    The destruction this leads to is undeniable. Swathes of forest and peatland are destroyed. Countless animals caught up in the flames and smoke perish. And when the flames reach areas inhabited by people, they can claim many lives and homes of those unlucky enough to be caught in their path.

    The health risks of wildfire smoke

    In the first few months of 2020, Australia grappled with the worst wildfire season in its history. It claimed the lives of 33 people, destroyed thousands of homes and saw 18 million hectares (69,500 square miles) burned. Three billion animals were killed or displaced. And this August, thousands of lightning strikes triggered hundreds of fires across California, leading to a state of emergency being declared as the flames threatened densly populated residential areas. Beset by a prolonged drought, the state experienced its most destructive and deadliest fires in recorded history during 2017 and 2018. This year California, Washington and Oregon are fighting deadly wildfires that have burned millions of acres of land – up to 400 hectares (1,000 acres) are burning every 30 minutes – and destroyed thousands of homes.

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    Why the arctic is ablaze

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    Five common myths about wildfires

    These impacts on the ground can be hard to bear, but wildfires can have another far-reaching effect on our lives.

    Rising up to 14 miles (23km) into the air, well into the stratosphere, plumes of smoke from large wildfires can spread all over the globe thanks to currents of air. Smoke from this summer’s Siberian wildfires has been choking nearby cities for months now and has spread across the Pacific Ocean to reach Alaska. The smoke has even been reducing air quality by creating hazes in cities as far away Seattle.

    Smoke from the recent fires on the west coast of the US – where blazes have already claimed several lives in Oregon and California – has blown across the continent as far as New York and Washington DC on the east coast.

    In dry summer conditions forest fires can sweep across huge areas, but they can also smoulder underground waiting to burst back into flame (Credit: Julia Petrenko/Greenpeace)

    The Arctic wildfires in Siberia this summer have set a record: for releasing more pollution into the air in a single month than any other in 18 years of record keeping, according to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

    It is in part down to what’s burning – resin-rich boreal forest, peat buried in bogs and melting tundra permafrost all release high concentrations of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere along with methane and toxic contaminants such as mercury. But it’s also because the fires are more widespread – a byproduct of record-breaking heat waves that gripped the Arctic in early summer. This helped thaw parts of the tundra, making it much more susceptible to burning.

    Carried with the gases released by wildfires, however, are also tiny, lightweight particles of soot. Such “particulate matter” (PM) is a common component in air pollution in cities, where it can be released from vehicle exhausts and heavy industry. But smoke from wildfires can lead to dramatic spikes in the amount of particulate matter in the air compared with average air pollution.

    Wildfire causes episodes of the worst air quality that most people living in high income countries are ever going to see – Sarah Henderson

    For example, during wildfire season in Canada, cities in British Columbia have seen particulate levels that are 20 times higher than would be expected on an average day.

    “Wildfire causes episodes of the worst air quality that most people living in high income countries are ever going to see,” says Sarah Henderson, senior scientist in environmental health services at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control. The small size and large amount of particulate matter has a lot to do with this.

    Source : www.bbc.com

    Air Quality Flashcards

    Start studying Air Quality. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

    Air Quality

    36 studiers in the last day

    Automobiles & trucks do NOT release significant quantities of the following into the atmosphere:

    Click card to see definition 👆

    sulfur dioxides

    Click again to see term 👆

    Chronic exposure of tree leaves & needles to air pollutants can ...

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    increase the chance of damage from disease, pest, drought and famine

    Click again to see term 👆

    1/15 Created by kateyxle

    Terms in this set (15)

    Automobiles & trucks do NOT release significant quantities of the following into the atmosphere:

    sulfur dioxides

    Chronic exposure of tree leaves & needles to air pollutants can ...

    increase the chance of damage from disease, pest, drought and famine

    Smoke from forest fires is most likely to affect air quality over larger areas for many days when ...

    a persistent atmosphere inversion exist in the region

    Of the following strategies to reduce acid deposition, the LEAST effective is ...

    removing sulfur dioxide from smokestack gases

    Industrial smog:

    is worse during the summer months

    The installation of scrubbers in smoke stacks...

    will diminish acid rain

    Various types of air pollution have been linked to all of the following human health problems EXCEPT:

    increased susceptibility to tuberculosis

    Air pollution is a greater health threat to children than adults because ...

    children have a higher metabolic rate than adults

    Abestos is:

    none of the above are correct;

    NOT known to cause heart disease, NOT toxic in low concentrations, NOT a human made insulation, NOT a natural material that can burn

    When a rain forest is slashed & burned, the local concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases. This is primarily due to ...

    oxidation of carbon compounds

    Acid deposition would most likely result in which of the following?

    the release of aluminul ions from soil

    Which of the following is an important contributor to both global warming & ozone depletion?

    a release of chlorofluorocarbons

    Which of the following best explain why it is predicted that ozone depletion over the poles will be at its worst between 2010 & 2019?

    ozone depleting chemicals produced before their use was banned will take that long to reach peak concentration in the stratosphere

    Which of the following actions would increase global greenhouse emissions?

    switching from hydroelectric power generation to power generation using natural gas as the primary fuel

    Implicated in human neurological damage


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    Verified questions


    Which two mRNA codes correspond to histidine? CAU & CAC, CAA & CUC

    Verified answer BIOLOGY

    Which parental pair could produce females with colorblindness a. homozygous normal-vision mother, father with colorblindness. b. mother with colorblindness, normal-vision father. c. heterozygous normal-vision mother, normal-vision father. d. heterozygous normal-vision mother, father with colorblindness.

    Verified answer BIOLOGY

    What is the major role of fungi in an ecosystem?

    Verified answer BIOLOGY

    Discuss the following problem. Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) carries an oncogene called Src, which encodes a continuously active protein tyrosine kinase that leads to unchecked cell proliferation. Normally, Src carries an attached fatty acid (myristoylate) group that allows it to bind to the cytoplasmic side of the plasma membrane. A mutant version of Src that does not allow attachment of myristoylate does not bind to the membrane. Infection of cells with RSV encoding either the normal or the mutant form of Src leads to the same high level of protein tyrosine kinase activity, but the mutant Src does not cause cell proliferation. A. Assuming that the normal Src is all bound to the plasma membrane and that the mutant Src is distributed throughout the cytoplasm, calculate their relative concentrations in the neighborhood of the plasma membrane. For the purposes of this calculation, assume that the cell is a sphere with a radius (r) of 10


    μm and that the mutant Src is distributed throughout the cell, whereas the normal Src is confined to a 4-nm-thick layer immediately beneath the membrane. [For this problem, assume that the membrane has no thickness. The volume of a sphere is (4/3)

    \pi πr ^3 3

    .] B. The target (X) for phosphorylation by Src resides in the membrane. Explain why the mutant Src does not cause cell proliferation.

    Verified answer

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