Forest fire smoke causes episodes of the worst air quality that most Canadian populations will ever experience. As a complex mixture of gases and small particles, smoke can irrigate the eyes and respiratory tract, and can also cause systemic inflammation that affects the entire body. During smoky episodes we see large increases in exacerbations of respiratory diseases such as asthma, and small increases in heart attacks, strokes, and mortality. Smoke is unpredictable and episodic in both space and time, which makes it challenging to ensure that communities are adequately prepared to protect themselves from these effects. My presentation will review key elements of smoke exposure, population health impacts, surveillance, and effective interventions for a public health audience.
Presentation slides: 2017-11-24 – HENDERSON, Sarah – CIPHI_Henderson_Smoke