The health impacts and economic value of wildland fire...

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

The health impacts and economic value of wildland fire...

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:43 am

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 9717320223
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The health impacts and economic value of wildland fire episodes in the U.S.: 2008–2012
Fann et al
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.024

Abstract

Introduction
Wildland fires degrade air quality and adversely affect human health. A growing body of epidemiology literature reports increased rates of emergency departments, hospital admissions and premature deaths from wildfire smoke exposure.

Objective
Our research aimed to characterize excess mortality and morbidity events, and the economic value of these impacts, from wildland fire smoke exposure in the U.S. over a multi-year period; to date no other burden assessment has done this.

Methods
We first completed a systematic review of the epidemiologic literature and then performed photochemical air quality modeling for the years 2008 to 2012 in the continental U.S. Finally, we estimated the morbidity, mortality, and economic burden of wildland fires.

Results
Our models suggest that areas including northern California, Oregon and Idaho in the West, and Florida, Louisiana and Georgia in the East were most affected by wildland fire events in the form of additional premature deaths and respiratory hospital admissions. We estimated the economic value of these cases due to short term exposures as being between $11 and $20B (2010$) per year, with a net present value of $63B (95% confidence intervals $6–$170); we estimate the value of long-term exposures as being between $76 and $130B (2010$) per year, with a net present value of $450B (95% confidence intervals $42–$1200).

Conclusion
The public health burden of wildland fires—in terms of the number and economic value of deaths and illnesses—is considerable.
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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