Population Health

October 14, 2021

Impact of wildfire smoke hit some groups harder than others

Image of wildfire smokeNearly a dozen researchers from the University of Washington Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) in the School of Public Health have been hard at work addressing questions and health risks associated with wildfires in the Northwest.

Through a series of community-based research projects, DEOHS researchers and their collaborators are working to study the dangers of wildfires, identify those most vulnerable to uncontrolled fires and develop innovative solutions to alleviate or reduce the health issues associated with wildfires.

The researchers have provided crucial input on state-enacted policies and disseminated valuable health and safety information to those most vulnerable. DEOHS researchers have made tangible impacts on the local community, informing emergency rules aimed at protecting outdoor laborers from wildfire smoke exposure and investigating how wildfire smoke impacts lung and heart conditions.

Their work will continue to inform government policymakers, public health practitioners and the communities most at risk to the health issues and hazards associated with wildfires. The continued efforts of the DEOHS researchers and their community partners underscore the importance of responding to climate change and reaffirm the University of Washington’s commitment to being a leader in climate action.

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