Report: Smoke From Wildfires Poses Health Risks

GROVELAND, CA - AUGUST 25: Flames from the Rim Fire consume trees on August 25, 2013 near Groveland, California. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens 4,500 homes outside of Yosemite National Park. Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has entered a section of Yosemite National Park and is currently 7 percent contained. 
National Journal
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Clare Foran
Oct. 24, 2013, 10:48 a.m.

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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