The long-term health effects of wildfire smoke are being deliberated upon by public health officials in California. Wildfires have destroyed large swaths of the state, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. In some areas, smoke is filling the interior buildings and homes. Many who remain have begun to feel the full force of the tragedy. They have difficulty breathing, they cannot sleep, and headaches are beginning to affect their overall health effects. The National Fire Protection Association has opened an investigation into the destruction and has asked local officials to take action.

Addictive Health Effects of wildfire smoke:

health effects

Wildfire smoke can fill the interior of your home within minutes after a fire breaks out. A plume of smoke rises through the house as if it were smoke from a cooking stove. If you are present when this happens, it can feel very quiet and frightening. You may feel dizzy and nauseous and feel that you are going to faint. Your eyes and senses may become overwhelmed.

Once you begin to experience the long-term health effects of wildfire smoke, it will be difficult for you to stop smoking. In fact, it may become addictive. It has been said that some smokers became addicted to their smoke. Others were so affected by their ordeal that they began to smoke only when they had to be away from home. There are also those who began to smoke in order to numb the aches and pains of their suffering.

Chemicals harmful for the body:

Other long-term health effects of wildfire smoke are short-term health effects. The chemicals and toxins in wildfire smoke are extremely harmful to your body. Many are already aware of the fact that smoke is bad for your health. This smoke is made up of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and water. Some of the symptoms of exposure are dizziness, headaches, nausea, and chest tightness.
You are more likely to develop infections if you inhale high levels of smoke for a long period of time. It can also cause nausea and severe breathing problems. Other long-term health effects of wildfire smoke include headaches, coughing, and dizziness. In extreme cases, this smoke can cause death!

Breathing issues:

Wildfire smoke is considered to be a nuisance and not a harmful substance. However, many have experienced the ill effects of this substance. It can irritate people and even cause them to cough. Wildfire smoke is harmful to breathe. Inhaling it can make the lungs to become inflamed and sore. It can also cause the eyes to burn and the throat to swell.

Wildfire smoke can cause cancer:

One of the long-term health effects of wildfire smoke is cancer. If a person inhales large amounts of smoke, this can cause certain types of cancer to form in the body. Many people affected by the wildfires have expressed concerns about the long-term impacts the smoke may have on their health and how they can protect themselves and their family. The smoke from wildfires may have long-term health effects, but healthcare professionals advise that it is actually particles within the smoke that cause the biggest threat. Researchers have been curious about the cancerous effects of wildfire smoke on proximate citizens.

These studies suggest that there is, in fact, a correlation between wildfire smoke and cancer; however the majority of the participants endured prolonged exposure. More data is required to determine the correlation of cancer risk with short-term exposure. Breathing in the ash and debris may pose a cancer risk and can have bad health effects, but it also has been linked to heart disease, COPD, and other respiratory conditions.

To protect oneself, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests wearing a heavy-duty mask called a respirator when outdoors near smoke for an extended period of time. These masks are more protective than paper dust masks, which look like surgical masks, as they can trap smaller particles common in wildfire smoke.

The most common cancer types that can be caused by excessive exposure to smoke from a wildfire are nasal and mouth cancers. Other types of cancer that can be caused by smoking cigarettes include lung and colon cancer.

Inhaling problems:

The smoke from a wildfire can be very dangerous if you are inhaling it. For this reason, you should avoid being in the area when one happens. You should also remove all of your clothes, hosiery and jewelry that may have come in contact with smoke from a wildfire.

When wildfire smoke enters the airway, the tiny particles that it contains—which are about 30 times smaller than a human hair—can get lodged deep in the lungs and injure the lining. The body kicks into gear to dispel the foreign invaders, triggering spontaneous reflexes like coughing that helps cilia, the little hairs lining the cells of the airway, beat the particles out. There’s some evidence that the particles themselves can break through that barrier in the capillaries, getting into the bloodstream and causing an inflammatory response throughout the body.

Remember that your health is extremely important and should be taken seriously. Keep in mind that it is not safe to eat food or drink any raw meat that came in contact with a wildfire. Also, you should stay away from any cooked meat. This includes steaks and meats. Meat should only be cooked partially or completely raw. You should purchase food that is cooked on the grill or outside.

Often suffers from asthma:

health effects

The vapors that are created by the flames are dangerous as well. Many times these vapors can trigger asthma attacks and other allergies. This can be very dangerous especially if you are elderly or suffer from respiratory problems. You should avoid breathing in the smoke. You can do this by using a fan or blowing your nose gently
As you can see, there are many negative long-term health effects of wildfire smoke. However, you should try to minimize your exposure if possible. You can do this by making sure that you never go near the fire or have open fires on your property.