2020 Smoke Waves
- The Western U.S. continues to see large increases in wildfire activity due to rising temperatures, buildups of pine needles and other potential fuel on forest floors, and urban growth into forested areas. More wildfire activity means more smoke pollution.
- Wildfire smoke has been connected to a long list of health problems, including asthma and heart attacks. Scientists recently discovered that exposure to smoke waves increases influenza risks the following winter, and experts fear the same may hold true for COVID.
- Other types of air pollution, including truck exhaust and chemical irritants like tear gas, increase susceptibility to respiratory infections and other health problems, including COVID.