Scorched Earth, Scorched Lungs

Devastating wildfires have cloaked the US West Coast in filthy air that has now reached the East Coast and even Europe, AP reports.
 
And in Brazil, massive wildfires are scorching one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, ABC reports.
 
As wildfires become more common, what does this mean for human health? National Geographic explains.
 
Wildfire smoke can lodge tiny particles so deep into the lungs that they can’t be broken down by the immune system. So, the body works overtime trying to fight them, triggering long-term inflammation can be particularly dangerous for people with underlying conditions like asthma.
 
Plus, the experience alone is damaging: “When you’re driving with flames on both sides of your car, and your tires are melting and you’re not sure you’re going to make it out”—that trauma weighs on the immune system, too, says Irva Hertz-Picciotto of UC Davis.

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