AmericaSpeaks TheVoiceOfJoyce I’m convinced, smoke from wildfires, is dangerous to our health by decreasing our lung’s ability to clear particulates. Last week, NYC and Detroit were the most polluted cities in America, because Canadian wildfires swept south. Interesting, this Montana toxicologist, just reinforced the “kids” environmental lawsuit against the State of Montana. Couple wildfire pollution with Petroleum toxins and Carbon emissions and our air is definitely unsafe to breathe. The kids are correct, their health and well being is endangered, along with their environment. The State has failed to protect the health of their citizens.

One concern is that smoke can suppress macrophage function, altering it enough that you become more susceptible to respiratory infection. A colleague who looked at lag time in the effect of wildfire smoke exposure found an increase in influenza cases after a bad fire season. Studies in developing countries have also found increases in respiratory infections with people who are cooking on open fires in homes.

The stress of an inflammatory response can also exacerbate existing health problems. Being exposed to wood smoke won’t independently cause someone to have a heart attack, but if they have underlying risk factors, such as significant plaque buildup, the added stress can increase the risk.

Researchers are also studying potential effects on the brain and nervous system from inhaled particulate matter.

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