John D. Tickle Professor Joshua Fu wrote about the toxicity of wildfire smoke in an article titled “Wildfire Smoke is Laced with Toxic Chemicals — Here’s How They Got There” for The Conversation.
When trees and plants burn, chemicals are released along with health-harming particulate matter in the smoke, gas, and ash. Fu has been researching how those chemicals compound the health effects of particulate matter from fires to create respiratory and cardiovascular problems, including asthma and cardiac arrest.
The article answers four questions:
- How do chemicals get into wildfire smoke?
- Is smoke that travels long distances still harmful?
- Why does wildfire smoke worsen asthma?
- How can people in smoky areas stay safe?