How is deforestation related to our health?
Forest fires produce smoke and ash, which produce a mixture of toxic pollutants that can remain in the air for weeks. This pollution can cause the following:
- Eye, nose, throat and lung irritation
- Decreased lung function
- Pneumonia, bronchitis, exacerbation of asthma and other lung diseases
- Exacerbation of cardiovascular disease
In the long term, exposure to air pollution is also associated with chronic disease and premature death. Globally, air pollution from burning forests and other vegetation can cause up to 435,000 premature deaths each year.