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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>