Fire Smoke Could Kill Up to 9,200 People Annually

Fire Smoke Could Kill 9,000 People This Year

(UnitedVoice.com) РAmericans in the northern part of the country are grappling with the impact of the smoke from Canada’s wildfires. Residents in those states are being warned about air quality issues, and those with respiratory illnesses are especially hard hit. A new report is revealing how dangerous this smoke can be.

On June 1, Science Direct published a study that tried to determine the economic and human losses from wildfire smoke. The researchers confirmed that western wildfires can impact air quality downwind. According to the scientists, the particulates (PM2.5) produced by the fires that are carried through the air can be incredibly dangerous. They can go deep into the lungs or bloodstream of a person and lead to asthma attacks, strokes, heart attacks, and other health issues.

According to KOAM, researchers estimated that it could kill between 4,000 and 9,200 people in the United States annually, potentially costing $36 to $82 billion in economic losses. The country is already seeing some of those negative effects where wildfires are common. The study points out that 76 people died in Atlanta due to the issue, and $0.69 billion was lost. In Los Angeles, 119 people died prematurely, and the negative impact on the economy totaled $1.07 billion.

People who are already suffering from respiratory illnesses are especially vulnerable to the impacts of wildfire smoke. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points out that younger and older people should also try to limit their exposure to smoke. Americans can check the Air Quality Index forecasts daily to see what the situation is outside their homes and prepare for the worst.

Americans can protect themselves from some of the negative impacts of poor air quality by staying indoors as much as possible with the doors and windows closed. Changing the filter in the air conditioner often is also important. If someone who is vulnerable has to go out and the air quality is bad, they can wear a face covering to limit exposure.

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