Forest fire smoke kills over 33,000 people a year

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Forest fire smoke kills over 33,000 people a year

Forest fire smoke kills over 33,000 people a year

The number of victims of fires is significantly underestimated, scientists said. The statistics include only those who died directly in the fire. But this is not the only danger. Many people die from air poisoning contaminated with smoke and combustion products, New Scientist reports.

In a new study, researchers at Monash University in Australia focused on the impact of short-term emissions from fires on human health. It turned out that they claim almost as many lives as heat waves.

The authors of the study collected data on daily mortality from all causes in 749 cities in 43 countries between 2000 and 2016 and compared this data with the level of PM2.5 particles emitted by forest fires.

The results showed that pollution from forest fires was associated with 0.62% of all deaths (33,510 out of 65.5 million). For comparison, the death rate from heat waves is estimated at 0.91%.

The worst affected country was Guatemala (3.04%). It was followed by Thailand, Paraguay, Mexico and Peru. In the United States, the figure was relatively small at 0.26 percent, and in Greece, 0.33 percent, despite recent wildfires in those countries.

The scientists noted that the analysis does not cover countries that are regularly affected by wildfires, such as Malaysia or Indonesia. So the figures they received may be underestimated.

Earlier, experts noted that since 2019, the number of natural disasters has increased dramatically on the planet. This is due to climate change.

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