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Frequent Questions

What are some of the health effects of wildfire smoke?

  • Fine particles can be inhaled deeply into the lungs; exposure to the smallest particles can affect the lungs and heart.
  • Fine particles are respiratory irritants, and exposure to high concentrations can cause persistent cough, phlegm, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
  • Exposure to fine particles can affect healthy people, causing respiratory symptoms and reductions in lung function. Particle pollution may also affect the body's ability remove foreign materials from the lungs, such as pollen and bacteria.
  • Studies have found that short-term exposure (i.e., days to weeks) to fine particles, a major component of smoke, is linked with aggravation of pre-existing heart and lung disease. 
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