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How do Australian wildfires affect people?

How do Australian wildfires affect people?

The effects of smoke exposure and inhalation range from eye and respiratory tract irritation to more serious disorders, including reduced lung function, bronchitis, exacerbated asthma and premature death. Exposure to particulate matter is the main public health threat from short-term exposure to wildfire smoke.

What is the impact of the Australian fires?

The scale of the ecological destruction was staggering: Ward and her colleagues found that of those 832 species of native vertebrate animals affected by the bushfires, 196 of them had 10 to 30 percent of their Australian habitat scorched; 51 species lost 30 to 50 percent of their habitat; 16 species lost 50 to 80 …

How does fire affect people’s lives?

Wildfires threaten lives directly, and wildfire smoke can affect us all. They spread air pollution not only nearby, but thousands of miles away—causing breathing difficulties in even healthy individuals, not to mention children, older adults and those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD and other lung diseases.

How bad was air quality in Australia fires?

Due to the fires, parts of Australia recorded the worst-ever air quality to date, with PM2. 5 levels reaching nearly 400µg/m3 in parts of Sydney, this level of pollution is described by the World Health Organisation as hazardous, meaning that everyone may experience serious health effects.

What are the long term effects of the Australian bushfires?

The full health and related impacts of the 2019–20 bushfires will not be known for some time; however, psychological health can be affected for many years and, while more research is needed into the effects of long-term exposure to bushfire smoke specifically, long-term exposure to air pollution is potentially related …

What are the long-term effects of the Australian bushfires?

Why is Australian fire important?

Many of Australia’s native plants are fire prone and very combustible, while numerous species depend on fire to regenerate. Indigenous Australians have long used fire as a land management tool and it continues to be used to clear land for agricultural purposes and to protect properties from intense, uncontrolled fires.

How bad is Australia’s pollution?

The issue. Almost 5000 Australians die from exposure to air pollution each year. Thousands of others suffer health effects like stroke, heart disease and asthma. Australia’s current air pollution standards are not strong enough to protect human health.

What are the effects of the wildfires in Australia?

While many organisations, wildlife sanctuaries and individuals, including victims of the fires, have taken it upon themselves to care for their local wildlife, a lack of knowledge and weak environmental laws could mean their livelihoods are further threatened.

How many people have died in the bushfires in Australia?

The fires have claimed the lives of at least 27 people and countless animals and destroyed 2,000 homes—and bushfire season still has 2 months to go. Even as the fires rage on, the smoke is beginning to clear around the long-lasting environmental impacts of the blazes.

How can I help people affected by the fires in Australia?

There are several places you can donate to help those affected by the Australian wildfires. The Australian Red Cross has set up a donation page to help people who have evacuated. You can donate here. The Australian Salvation Army has also set up a disaster donation fund. You can donate here.

How are wildfires affecting the health of people?

Wildfires produce harmful smoke which can cause fatalities. Wildfires produce fine particle air pollution, which is directly threatens human health even during relatively short exposures. Close to the fires, smoke is a health risk because it contains a mixture of hazardous gases and particles that can irritate the eyes and the respiratory system.