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Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 as a wildfire burns in Ventura, California, Dec. 5, 2017. Daniel Dreifuss via AP

Exposure to wildfire smoke: 5 questions answered

Intense wildfires in southern California are triggering air quality alerts. Health experts know surprisingly little about how inhaling smoke affects human health, especially over the long term.
Wildfire creates an orange glow in a view from a hilltop Oct. 13, 2017, in Geyserville, California. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Wildfire smoke and health: 5 questions answered

Wildfires in California have triggered a public health emergency. One threat is smoke inhalation: Some air readings have registered pollution levels comparable to bad air days in Beijing or Mumbai.
Smoke from deliberately lit forest fires is destroying the health of Southeast Asians, and looks set to be a yearly event. EPA/Amriyadi Bahar

Southeast Asian smoke warns of never-ending fires

Look at satellite images from Southeast Asia this week and you will see large areas of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore blanketed by dense plumes of smoke. These smoke plumes have severely degraded ground-level…
A bushfire smoke plume visible from Park Beach in Forcett, south-east of Hobart. AAP

Smoke from bushfires poses a health hazard for all of us

The bushfires currently raging across south-eastern Australia have, once again, focused national attention on the risks they pose for the community. The immediate concerns, naturally, are the direct impacts…
Nice when a few sandstone houses get smoking, but what are people breathing in bigger rural towns where wood stoves are common? Flickr/welshmackem

Should we worry about winter chimney haze in rural towns?

Winter in many Australian country towns is accompanied by a pall of smoke from wood-fired heaters that lasts from late afternoon to the following morning. In larger towns and cities burning wood has been…

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