Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Australian Wildfire Smoke Stokes Health Fears in Cities

Australian Wildfire Smoke Stokes  Health Fears in Cities

CANBERRA, Australia — Fire alarms have been sounding in high-rise buildings across downtown Sydney and Melbourne as dense smoke from distant wildfires confuse electronic sensors. Modern government office blocks in the Australian capital Canberra have been closed because the air inside is too dangerous for civil servants to breathe.
The sun has glowed an eerie red behind a brown shrouded sky for weeks over Australian metropolitan areas that usually rank high in the world’s most livable cities indexes.
It’s an unprecedented dilemma for Australians accustomed to blue skies and sunny days that has raised fears for the long-term health consequences if prolonged exposure to choking smoke becomes the new summer norm. Similar concerns over smoke are emerging in other regions of the globe being impacted by more fires tied to climate change, including the Western U.S.
Abramson urges a national study of the health impacts of the latest wildfires, saying his research focused on a much smaller population of 74,000 people in the Latrobe Valley.
“We’re now seeing substantial exposure extending over weeks to cities that have millions of inhabitants, so I think it’s very likely that there might be more subtle effects that we haven’t been able to detect,” Abramson said. (AP News)