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Effect of Air Pollution on Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 1677 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Air pollution comes from many different sources some are man-made, and some are naturally occurring yet from my research and figuring out one of the major causes in from forest fires causing carbon monoxide which have stricken many of the western states within the last few years.  Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease, which has changed in recent decades due to both better diagnostic and treatment technologies, and environmental factors, such as pollution or changing in our climate and lifestyles (Kopnina, 2014). A forest fire has a major role in our ecosystem services.  Naturally produced wildfires can cause many of terrestrial biomes on our global atmospheric carbon-cycling mechanisms. Now one of the great issues to consider in this report is back in 1970 The EPA came up with the Clean Air Act was the first effort by our Federal and State bureaucracies to manage ambient air quality. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines air pollution as “any visible or invisible particle or gas found in the air that is not part of the natural composition of air” (Payne-Sturges & Devon C., et al..). 


     Air pollution includes gases, smoke from fires, volcanic ash, and dust particles. Research shows, “that air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms.  A study of young campers with moderate to severe asthma showed they were 40 percent more likely to have acute asthma episodes on high pollution summer days than on days with average pollution levels” based on the inhalation of carbon monoxide (Payne-Sturges & Devon C., et al.).  Another study found that older adults were more likely to visit the emergency room for breathing problems when summer air pollution was high.  Studies show a direct connection between the occurrence of asthma and increases of particulate matter in the air. Forest Fires are found to be a huge contributor to this problem. The objective of this report is to explore any connections between air pollution, asthma, and forest fires to provide recommendations for health and forest policy. This report focuses on the survey of literature on the relationship between forest fires and asthma respiratory issues. 

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Once a forest turns into a roaring fire, plumes of sooty smoke containing gases, carbon monoxide, and microscopic particles are released (Guardian.com, pg. 2). Smoke and ash contain harmful particles that can irritate even healthy lungs (AAFA.Org, pg. 3).  Poor air quality can worsen asthma symptoms (AAFA.Org, 2). Wildfires do not only affect those in the immediate fire area the smoke can blow many miles away and impact people hundreds of miles away (AAFA.Org, 1).  Wildfire activity is widely thought to have increased in recent decades, yet neither the extent of recent changes nor how much climate may be driving regional changes in wildfire has been systematically documented (Agricola.Nal.USDA.gov., 1).  A relatively small number of forest fires are responsible for a very high proportion of the total damage (ResearchGate.net, 1).

According to Sturges & Devon et.al. “Public health policies that reduce combustion-related air pollution will improve not only cardiovascular and respiratory function but also neurodevelopment.  Lastly, policies that reduce fossil fuel– based energy generation and transportation will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the health effects of climate change” (Payne-Sturges, & Devon C., et al.,55).  Forest fires are an example of combustion-related energy force which is carbon-monoxide.  Not, to mention public education states a point that is better understood and supported by maintaining an ecologically size and distributions from severe fire and its early stages, and the conditions that it has caused.

William Baker notes, “that many programs to help to reduce

air pollution caused by severe wildfires yet has not been

supported and have shown a significant sign of adverse ecological impacts,

thus, including habitats for the native’s species decreasing

landscapes that confer to a resilient climate change” … (24). My question is how we reach our lawmakers to let them know that air pollution, especially from forest fires, are destroying our health’s especially the ones that live in higher altitudes than others.

Air pollution from wildfires and how it affects our respiratory systems?

Robin Bible Tennessee Division of Forestry has found that fine particulate matter, alone or with other pollutants, is linked to a few significant respiratory and cardiovascular-related diseases. In addition, airborne particles are respiratory irritants and laboratory studies show that high concentrations of particulate matter cause persistent cough, phlegm, wheezing and physical discomfort in breathing. Particulate matter also can alter the body’s immune system and affect the removal of foreign materials like pollen and bacteria from the lungs.  Other hazardous air pollutants also are present in smoke, but in far fewer concentrations than particulate and carbon monoxide.

Finally, the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2018 report shows that Wyoming continues to have some of the best air quality in the nation with Cheyenne ranking number one in the nation for year-round particle pollution and Casper ranking the highest on all lists, as well.  The trends reported in this report, which covers data collected by states, cities, counties, tribes, and federal agencies in 2014-2016, reflects the ongoing challenges to reduce each pollutant in the changing political and outdoor climate (Nyssen, Lung.org).  In the report from the American Lung Association, as pointed out by Carrie Nyssen, “…continued improvement in air quality, but still, more than four in ten Americans-133.9 million- live in counties that have unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution, where their health is at risk” (Nyssen, Lung.org.). After visualizing this image that shows a simple allergic reaction to the air pollution can and will later have many different health-related effects, such as allergies, eye irritation, sneezing, and coughing that can become very severe to ones’ health.

How to reduce health-related issues due to air pollution that has been pinpointed to the wildfires: “When such problems are combined with a suppressed immune system from stress, exhaustion, and poor nutrition, the stage is set for bronchitis and a prolonged recovery,” According to the Lung Association this can lead to fewer children with neurodevelopmental disorders, less special education spending required, and more people participating fully in society across their life spans need to understand why they are having asthma and more respiratory issues while they are  living in certain areas especially the where wildfires area are very fierce.  Now my recommendation to reduce one’s exposure to combustion-related air pollution is to use more guidelines of how to stay safe during dryland or forestry area that is experiencing an extremely dry period.  Lastly, has provided a cognitive way in which to provide many more safety measures that can hopefully help our citizens living in an area that they are needed to protect oneself and their loved ones due to the climate change which has to produce dry velocity which makes wildfires that uproars to cause natural catastrophes and health-related issue.  This report will prove to us that this is not a joke especially for the ones that live in higher altitudes.

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