Wildland fire smoke health effects on wildland firefighters and the public

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Using epidemiology studies to understand the exposure-response relationship for PM, this study found that firefighters were at an increased risk for long-term health effects from smoke exposure. The risk for lung cancer mortality increases nearly linearly with exposures over time and is more strongly influenced by exposure duration than are the risks of death from cardiovascular or ischemic heart disease. On the other hand, the risk of cardiovascular mortality rises steeply for doses in the range we estimated for firefighter exposures but flattens out at higher exposures to PM. The data presented in this paper clearly identify the crews and activities most likely to exceed occupational exposure limits and firefighters may have a an increased health risk from smoke exposures.

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