Wildfire Raises Heart Attack, Lung Risk

"Exposure to wildfire smoke -- particularly that from smoldering peat -- can dramatically increase the risk of cardiac and respiratory illness, according to new research led by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The study, published [Monday] in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, uncovered a significant spike in emergency room visits for heart and lung complaints that corresponded with smoke exposure from a 2008 peat bog fire along the North Carolina coast.

During the 2008 fire - which was similar to two peat fires now burning near the coast - smoke drifted inland for three days, smothering towns as far west as Smithfield."

Helen Chappell reports for the Raleigh News & Observer June 27, 2011.


"Peat Bog Wildfire Smoke Exposure in Rural North Carolina Is Associated with Cardio-Pulmonary Emergency Department Visits Assessed Through Syndromic Surveillance" (EHP)

"Study Finds Peat Wildfire Smoke Linked To Heart Failure Risk" (e! Science News)

Source: Raleigh News & Observer, 06/28/2011