Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Finds Peat Wildfire Smoke Linked to Heart Failure Risk

28.06.2011
In the summer of 2008, a lightning strike started a wildfire in eastern North Carolina that burned for weeks, blanketing nearby communities in smoke. An EPA study shows for the first time that smoke from this wildfire, which was fueled by peat (decayed vegetable matter found in swampy areas) can lead to an increase in emergency room visits for both respiratory and cardiovascular effects.

This was the first study to report increased visits for symptoms of heart failure in counties exposed to wildfire smoke. The study found a 37 percent increase in emergency room visits for people with symptoms of heart failure during a three day period of dense smoke exposure and the following five days.

The EPA study also showed an increase in emergency department visits for problems relating to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and bronchitis, which are similar to studies of other wildfires.

Researchers used satellite imagery to identify counties impacted by the wildfire, and obtained numbers of emergency room visits for cardiac and respiratory problems in exposed and nearby unexposed counties to show the health impact of this fire.

This was not a unique occurrence. Each year NC experiences more than 100 wildfires and the summer of 2011 has resulted in a peat bog wildfire, which has already consumed 45,000 acres, impacting coastal and inland counties continuously since May 5.

The study findings are expected to provide relevant and important information for state and county public health officials as they consider strategies to address the adverse health effects of wildfire smoke in the general public and especially in vulnerable populations.

The study did not examine health effects from other fires such as controlled fires that are intentionally set or other fires that burn vegetation, but not peat. The findings cannot be extrapolated to non-peat related fires. Peat fires tend to burn slowly and close to the ground so that the smoke is not as easily moved upward into the atmosphere. They are also very difficult to extinguish and can last for weeks or months.

The study was published online June 27 in Environmental Health Perspectives in collaboration with researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Pitt County Memorial Hospital and the NC Division of Public Health. The title is: Peat Bog Wildfire Smoke Exposure in Rural North Carolina is Associated with Cardiopulmonary Emergency Department Visits Assessed Through Syndromic Surveillance.

For more information on air quality conditions in your state, visit: http://www.airnow.gov

Ann Brown | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.epa.gov

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>