The smoke of the burning forests can be more dangerous than radiation

Today everyone is sure that there is nothing more dangerous to human health than the radiation. Of course, when it comes to the health of a living person. The radiation penetrates into the drawings themselves, which are the cells: the DNA. And destroys it, breaking the cells. Read how radiation kills: gradually, but irreversibly. But there is something that can be much more dangerous than moderate doses of radiation, and you would never know about it: the smoke of a forest fire. Even one microscopic dose inhalation of smoke can lead to incurable consequences for health that will last a lifetime.

Is it possible to breathe forestry smoke

In November last year, when California was raging mad forest fires, smoke from these fires covered the city of Sacramento. The air of the city became one of the most polluted in the world. A forest fire has long been extinguished, but the remaining smallest particles gradually penetrate into the lungs of residents of the city and into the bloodstream, where they will remain for years.

Nothing like?

To end the Second world war, decided to drop on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs. With the bombing of Hiroshima killed 70,000 people — from the explosion, 60 000 — from radiation. But in reality, victims were much more Japanese they are called “hibakusha”, meaning “the people affected by the explosion.” By 2013 from the lasting effects of the bombing died 450 thousand people. People were poisoned by radiation, many children suffered from leukemia — thousands of children. Read the story of the Japanese girl Sadako Sasaki, stricken with leukemia, which, according to legend, collected the thousand paper cranes to fulfill her dream: to not have the same devastating war.

The fact that the smoke is unpleasant and can cause asthma or carbon monoxide poisoning is a well known fact. What is the smoke of a forest fire is more dangerous than radiation? The fact that a microscopic dose of radiation will not harm human health, and fine dust particles from wildfire smoke can have irreversible consequences for children’s health. And these solid particles size less than 2.5 microns, that is 30 times thinner than a human hair.

Forest smoke is incredibly harmful to children

A new study has shownthat exposure to these tiny particles (called PM2.5) flying in the air after a fire, impair the immune system of children. Scientists at Stanford University tested the blood of 36 children exposed to fire, whose smoke covered the city of Fresno in 2015, and found changes in a particular gene, which regulates immune cells — regulatory T-lymphocytes. That is, those who are struggling with the disease and help the body to recover. Children faced a higher risk of Allergy or infection.

Preliminary conclusions: the inhalation of even small quantities of particles that are 30 times smaller than a human hair in thickness, may lead to incurable consequences. Even “controlled” fires at which burned the undergrowth, can be dangerous, however, to a lesser degree, scientists say.

If research children who can’t get enough, scientists took monkeys — rhesus monkeys — who live in the outdoor enclosure at the National research Primate center in California. Monkeys give birth in the spring, so in June and July 2008 newborn macaques also breathe in smoke from fires — a full 10 days. Three years later, when the apes have grown, scientists have documented they have insufficient immunity caused by exposure to PM2.5 (those particles). Now, 10 years later, monkeys still show the same immune changes, and females even passed them on to their offspring.

“It is obvious that the toxic particles in air pollution have permanent effects on DNA of immune cells,” says Lisa Miller, chief scientist and immunologist from the School of veterinary medicine, University of California, Davis. “This change, which remained in the cage [with the monkeys] for life”.

It is hoped that forest fires will become less and less. Read how scientists are going to predict their appearance with the help of orbital satellites.

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