Even Out-of State Wildfire Smoke Can Make You Sick

Even Out-of State Wildfire Smoke Can Make You Sick says a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, reports Joanna Foster at Climate Progress. About two-thirds of Americans lived in areas in 2011 exposed to wildfire smoke, linked to asthma, pneumonia, chronic lung and even heart diseases. According to NRDC’s report, in 2011, only 22 states escaped wildfire burns within their borders, yet eight of these states still had to contend with a week or more of medium to high-density smoke conditions. In all, 50 times more area was affected by smoke than was directly affected by fire. Otherwise healthy people have also reported suffering from sore throats and irritated eyes. “Wildfire smoke contains hundreds of toxic compounds,” explained Patrick L. kinney, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of the Columbia Climate and Health Program. “Public health professionals are most interested in very fine particulate matter, called PM2.5. These airborne particles are so tiny that they can make it deep into our lungs and cause serious damage.” Under continuing climate change, the forecast for wildfires is: UP.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte


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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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