Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deadly wildfires responsible for 339,000 deaths per year

Wildfires spew tons of tiny particles into the air.
Landscape fires -- including wildfires, peat fires and controlled burns on farming lands -- are much more dangerous than previously thought.

According to a Vancouver study, 339,000 people die each year because these fires.

Sub-Saharan Africa bears most of those deaths at 157,000, while in Southeast Asia the death toll is 110,000.

Researchers say they are surprised by the numbers because wildfires are a seasonal phenomenon, meaning exposure to wildfire smoke is intermittent at best.

In order to determine a death toll linked to wildfires, the researchers looked at all deaths in areas that were covered with heavy smoke and landscape fire between 1997 and 2006.

They were particularly interested in the health effects of small particulate matter, which is a main byproduct of wildfire smoke.

Wildfire smoke does not represent as great a danger as indoor air pollution (2 million deaths per year worldwide) and urban air pollution (800,000 people per year), but it could be considered an additional risk factor for global mortality.

Researchers are warning that wildfires will get more severe in the future as the globe gets warmer.

Wildfires are difficult to manage and contain, and it’s expensive to fight them, they say.

The study was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Source: AFP

Breathe better indoor air with air purifiers

Indoor air pollution, urban air pollution and wildfire smoke pose serious hazards to human health.

AirMedic Series:
Room air purifiers
Outdoor pollutants will find a way into the home, where they can build up – which why indoor air quality is such an important topic.

An air purifier with the right filters can help remove pollutants and provide healthier air.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office contain a deep-bed activated carbon filter for airborne chemicals, gases, odors and fumes, a HEPA filter for tiny particles and dust, pre-filters and optional UV germicidal filtration to help neutralize viruses, bacteria and mold.

For wildfire smoke and other indoor air pollutants, AllerAir recommends its 5000 DS or 6000 DS models, the AirMedic Series and general purpose air purifiers.

For more information and personalized suggestions, please contact AllerAir.