Emergency Room Visits for Asthma Conditions Jump in Canadian Wildfires

See some of the effects of the massive Canadian wildfires.

Smoke from massive Canadian wildfires in the spring and summer of 2023 resulted in 17% more asthma-related emergency room visits in regions of the United States impacted by smoke, according to a report issued August 25 by the Center for Disease Control.

“Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture containing gases and particles, where particulate matter…is the pollutant of most health concern because it can exacerbate existing cardiovascular, metabolic, and respiratory conditions and thus lead to increased emergency department visits and hospitalizations based on day-to-day changes in wildfire smoke exposure,” the study said.

The study was based on data gathered from 4,317 emergency departments in the U.S. from April 30 (when the major fires started) to August 4 when the survey was completed.

The worst wildfire smoke dates and most increased emergency room visits for asthma-related conditions were in the Midwest (including the Lake States), the Mid-Atlantic area, and New York and New Jersey, according to the study. The Canadian fires were unusual for their geographical breadth with fires burning over the summer from coast to coast.

The CDC report is available here: Link

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