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Peat bog wildfire smoke exposure in rural North Carolina is associated with Cardiopulmonary emergency department visits assessed through syndromic surveillance
RAPPOLD, A. G., M. S. CARRAWAY, L. M. NEAS, J. V. KILARU, S. Stone, W. Cascio, A. Ising, B. Cleve, J. T. Meredith, H. Vaughn-Batten, L. Deyneka, C. Barnett, J. Szykman, AND R. B. DEVLIN. Peat bog wildfire smoke exposure in rural North Carolina is associated with Cardiopulmonary emergency department visits assessed through syndromic surveillance. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, NC, 119(10):1415-20, (2011).
Background: In June 2008 burning deposits of peat produced haze and air pollution far in excess of National Ambient Air Quality Standards, encroaching on rural communities of eastern North Carolina (NC). While the association of mortality and morbidity with exposure to urban air pollution is well established, the health effects associated with exposure to wildfire emissions are less understood. Objective: To determine the effects of exposure on cardio-respiratory outcomes in the population affected by the fire. Methods: A population-based study was performed using Emergency Department (ED) visits reported through the syndromic surveillance program NCDETECT. Aerosol optical depth measured by a satellite was used to determine a high-exposure window and distinguish counties most impacted by the dense smoke plume from surrounding reference counties. Poisson log-linear regression with a five day distributed lag was used to estimate changes in the cumulative relative risk (RR). Results: In the exposed counties significant increases in cumulative RR for asthma (1.65(95% confidence interval [1.25, 2.17]), COPD (1.73[1.06, 2.83]), pneumonia and acute bronchitis (1.59[1.07, 2.34]) were observed. ED visits associated with cardiopulmonary symptoms (1.23[1.06, 1.43]) and heart failure (1.37[1.01, 1.85]) were also significantly increased. Conclusions: Satellite data and syndromic surveillance were combined to assess the health impacts of wildfire smoke in rural counties with sparse air quality monitoring. This is the first study to demonstrate both respiratory and cardiac effects following brief exposure to peat wildfire smoke.
Short-term wildfire smoke exposure resulted in increased rates of both respiratory and cardiovascular-related ED visits
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION