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Wildfire Smoke, Fire Management, and Human Health

Bowman, David and Johnston, Fay H. (2005). Wildfire Smoke, Fire Management, and Human Health. EcoHealth,2(1):76-80.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 21 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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IRMA ID A00004xPUB57
Title Wildfire Smoke, Fire Management, and Human Health
Author Bowman, David
Johnston, Fay H.
Journal Name EcoHealth
Publication Date 2005
Volume Number 2
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1612-9210   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-17644383336
Start Page 76
End Page 80
Total Pages 5
Place of Publication New York
Publisher Springer Publishing
Field of Research 0707 - Veterinary Sciences
1117 - Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Burning landscapes under controlled conditions to reduce the risk of wildfires is a controversial land management practice. The health risks of smoke generated from controlled burning relative to wildfire remain uncertain. Recent work in the Australian monsoon tropics provided a unique opportunity to study the health effects of smoke pollution at and well below national air quality standards. It found that for each increase in the atmospheric mass of particles 10 g or less in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) per cubic meter of air per 24-hour period, there was a 26% increase in daily asthma presentations to the emergency department of the Royal Darwin Hospital, with an apparent threshold at 40 g/m3 PM10 (lower than the Australian PM10 air quality standard of 50 g/m3). This finding was unaffected by adjusting for weekly rates of influenza, weekday vs. weekends, and school holiday periods. Although further research is being undertaken to substantiate these findings, the upshot of the study suggests that for airsheds containing large human populations, fire managers should strive to keep smoke pollution less than 40 g/m3 PM10.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-004-0149-8   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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