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Report: Smoke From Wildfires Poses Health Risks Report: Smoke From Wildfires Poses Health Risks

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Energy

Report: Smoke From Wildfires Poses Health Risks

Flames from the Rim Fire consume trees on Aug. 25 near Groveland, Calif.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

photo of Clare Foran
October 24, 2013

A study released by Natural Resources Defense Council on Thursday indicates that wildfire smoke may pose a public health threat not just to individuals living in the immediate vicinity of a blaze, but also to people living downwind.

To reduce the potential health risks associated with wildfire smoke, steps must be taken to cut down on carbon emissions from stationary sources such as power plants, said Patrick Kinney, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of the Columbia Climate and Health Program.

"I would like to emphasize that climate change now has emerged as a worsening driver of wildfire risks," Kinney said in a press call, adding that he believes it is time to get "serious about addressing the root causes of climate change."

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