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Long-Term Impacts From Wildfire Smoke Suggest Heart and Lung Effects

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A University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) pulmonary specialist, John Balmes, MD, reports that the particulates found in carbon-based fuels, such as a forest fire, produce toxic complex hydrocarbons into the air. The human response to such particulates is lung tissue injury, involving inflammation. In the recent wildfires in California, man-made materials also burned in the fire, but what particulates were created is unclear. While Dr. Balmes claims that the lungs of healthy adults will likely recover from smoke inhalation, the elderly and the very young are at risk for long-term damage. He also noted that the biggest impacts from fires tend to be on heart health. Read more at this UCSF article.

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