The immediate health effects of wildfire smoke can include coughing, an itchy throat, asthma attacks, sinus irritation, chest pain, headaches, and fatigue.

The Smoke from wildfires in Canada covered much of the eastern United States with a dense haze in early June. Many cities have issued air quality warnings, urging people to stay indoors if possible and protect themselves with masks if they must go out.

But on June 7, a guest on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” Steve Milloy, claims that wildfire smoke has no negative health effects.

“Look, the air is ugly, it’s hard to breathe and for a lot of people, they feel anxious because of it. But the reality is there is no health risk,” says Milloy. “We’ve always had this kind of air in India and China – there’s no public health emergency.”

He also said that wildfire smoke “didn’t kill anyone” and “didn’t make anyone cough.”

Milloy has since doubled down on her claims about his Twitter account.


Does wildfire smoke pose a health risk?



This is the truth.

Yes, wildfire smoke poses a risk to your health.


Wildfire smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says wildfire smoke can make healthy people sick if there is enough of it in the air. Health effects from wildfire smoke exposure can range from mild symptoms, such as eye and respiratory irritation, to more serious health problems, such as exacerbation of asthma and even heart failure, according to the Commission’s report. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The CDC says the immediate health effects of inhaling wildfire smoke include:

  • Cough, itchy throat and difficulty breathing normally
  • asthma attack
  • teary eyes
  • Runny nose and irritated sinuses
  • Chest pain
  • Heart beat fast
  • Headache
  • tired

The American Lung Association adds that wildfire smoke can even cause heart attacks and strokes. Stanford University Environmental Institute says exposure to secondhand smoke for five to seven days can damage the lungs, blood and heart.

Poor air quality from wildfire smoke can have long-term negative effects on children’s lungs, even in children who don’t have asthma, as their bodies are still developing. Children’s Hospital Colorado speak. According to Stanford University, children exposed to wildfire smoke for five days have twice the rate of asthma.

Stanford University says the elderly and pregnant are also more affected by wildfire smoke than others. Elderly people exposed to wildfire smoke may have an increased rate of heart attack and stroke, as well as an increased risk of preterm birth and reduced birth rates when pregnant women are exposed to smoke.

What makes wildfire smoke so bad for people’s health?

Wildfire smoke is a mixture of gaseous pollutants, hazardous air pollutants, water vapor and particulate pollution. particle pollution, also known as particulate, particulate matter or PM, is the general term for a mixture of solid and liquid droplets suspended in the air. The EPA says particle pollution is a major public health threat from short- and long-term exposure to wildfire smoke.

“The air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors, always contains pollution particles. Due to their small size, the particles can easily enter homes and buildings, increasing indoor particle concentrations, the EPA says. “During a wildfire, the concentration of particles can rise dramatically in the air to the point where particle pollution is visible to the naked eye.”

If there are more fine particles in the air, your local measures of air quality will be worse. If the air quality is worse, you are more likely to experience negative health effects from wildfire smoke.

The health effects of exposure to particulate pollution can range from eye and respiratory irritation to worsening asthma and heart failure, even premature death. according to EPA. Even in healthy people, fine particles can cause pneumonia and reduced lung function. They can also interfere with the body’s ability to clear viruses and bacteria from the lungs, the EPA says.

But the dangers and effects of wildfire smoke will not be the same from person to person, day to day, or fire to fire. AirNow, a partnership between several federal agencies that report official US air quality data, says that not everyone exposed to wildfire smoke will experience long-term negative health effects . The amount you are exposed to and the length of time you are exposed to it play an important role in determining whether someone will experience smoke-related health problems.

that’s why National Jewish Health, a respiratory hospital, says low levels of wildfire smoke won’t necessarily lead to long-term problems for healthy people, but can still cause unpleasant effects in the short term. National Jewish Health says you should stay indoors as much as possible if recommended for air quality.

Click here to check the air quality in your area.

How bad was the air quality in places covered by smoke in early June?

At some point on June 7, 2023, when thick smoke obscured the midday sun and turned New York City’s sky orange, the city’s air quality is the worst in the world, according to IQAir, an air quality technology company.

The the city’s air quality considered “dangerous” on the official US Air Quality Index. The hazard rating, which is the worst on the scale, is for an “emergency” where people are at high risk of negative health effects, according to the report. AirNow.

Many cities are ranked by IQAir among worst for fine particles in 2022 was in India, where Milloy said there was this kind of air “all the time” with “no public health emergency”. In 2019, nearly 1.6 million people in India died from air pollution – including the same fine particles found in wildfire smoke – according to the report. Lancet Commission Health and Pollution Report 2022.

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