Longer fire seasons can threaten health in the long run

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As the climate changes, important weather factors during the forest fire season will also change. Droughts are projected to last longer, and heat waves will become more common and more intense. Both of these changes could lead to an increase in the amount of fuel for forest fires during the year. A longer fire season means more forest smoke. And repeated exposure to this smoke would be dangerous even for the healthiest people. “Everyone’s lungs and cardiovascular system will be affected, and re-exposure this year will make people vulnerable this year who were not vulnerable before,” said Dr. Tanya Pacheka-Werner, co-director of the Central Valley Institute for Health Policy. The danger of acute smoke inhalation is well reported. This can be related to childhood asthma, developmental problems and even premature births. People of all ages can develop chronic heart and lung disease simply by inhaling smoky air. Dr Irva Hertz-Picchota, director of the Davis Center for Environmental Sciences, said there was not much data showing the long-term effects of repeated exposure to forest fire smoke, but based on what we know about single exposure problems, there is reason to for concern. “We have every reason to believe, based on the data we have, that we can expect that the impact on respiratory health will be greater and possibly more lasting. In some cases, even permanent,” Hertz-Picotta said. Both Hertz-Picotta and Pacheco-Werner said the last two years of fighting COVID-19 have highlighted the U.S. health care system and that adding climate-related health risks such as smoke inhalation will only add more tension. “I think we’re going to need to think not only about how to expand public health, but also to start doing some key health interventions to mitigate the effects of climate change on our communities,” Pacheco-Werner said. Things like outreach can help inform people about the dangers of inhaling smoke by providing ways to limit risks, especially in communities that are regularly ignored and lack resources, Pacheco-Warner said. Relief programs will also benefit those who cannot afford the tools to make the air in their homes safe. “We already have access to programs that help people, say, fix cars when they can’t get through smog, so why not” We don’t have programs that help people use their home filtering to reduce risks. ” Pacheco-Werner said, as we continue to feel the growing impact of climate change, more such mitigation and adaptation strategies will be needed, but reducing pollution at our source, our carbon emissions, has the best potential for long-term benefits. in California in 2022: what you need to know and how to stay safe

As the climate changes, important weather factors during the forest fire season will also change. Droughts are projected to last longer, and heat waves will become more common and more intense. Both of these changes could lead to an increase in the amount of fuel for forest fires during the year.

A longer fire season means more forest smoke. And repeated exposure to this smoke would be dangerous even for the healthiest people.

“Everyone’s lungs and cardiovascular system will be affected, and repeated exposure this year will leave people vulnerable who have not been vulnerable before,” said Dr. Tanya Pacheka-Werner, co-director of the Central Valley Institute for Health Policy.

The danger of acute smoke inhalation is well reported. This can be related to childhood asthma, developmental problems and even premature births. People of all ages can develop chronic heart and lung disease simply by inhaling smoky air.

Dr Irwa Hertz-Picchota, director of the Davis Center for Environmental Sciences, said there was not much data showing the long-term effects of repeated exposure to forest fire smoke, but based on what we know about single exposure problems, there is reason to for concern.

“We have every reason to believe, based on the data we have, that we can expect that the consequences for respiratory health will be greater and perhaps more sustainable. In some cases, even permanent,” said Hertz-Picchota.

Both Hertz-Picotta and Pacheco-Werner said the last two years of fighting COVID-19 have highlighted the U.S. health care system and that adding climate-related health risks such as smoke inhalation will only add more tension.

“I think we need to think not only about how public health is expanding, but also start taking some key health interventions to mitigate the effects of climate change on our communities,” Pacheco-Werner said.

Things like outreach can help inform people about the dangers of inhaling smoke by providing ways to limit risks, especially in communities that are regularly ignored and lack resources, Pacheco-Warner said. Relief programs will also benefit those who cannot afford the tools to make the air in their homes safe.

“We already have access to programs that help people, say, fix cars if they can’t get through the smog, so why don’t we have programs that help people with their home filtration to reduce risks,” Pacheco said. . -Werner.

As we continue to feel the increased impact of climate change, more such mitigation and adaptation strategies will be needed. But reducing the pollution at its source, our carbon emissions, has the best potential to achieve long-term benefits.

California 2022 Forest Fire Preparedness Guide: What You Need to Know and How to Stay Safe

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