Research Mentor(s): Patricia Koman, Research Investigator
Research Mentor School/College/Department: School of Public Health,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 1 (10am-10:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 8
Wildfires are becoming more frequent and more intense due to climate change, forest management practices, and settlement patterns. There are well-researched negative health effects caused by wildfire smoke, such as increased instances of respiratory disease like COPD and asthma, and particulate matter is causally associated with cardiovascular diseases. Particulate matter (PM 2.5) from wildfire smoke contributes to these health conditions. Children (18 and under), pregnant women, the elderly (65 and older), people with pre-existing conditions (COPD, asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, people with cancer), and outdoor workers are at higher risk for these negative health effects due to biological susceptibility and social vulnerabilities. . We conducted a e study of exposure to demonstrate possible co-occurrences of fire-PM2.5 and vulnerable populations in California. This study uses modeled Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) estimates of fire-PM2.5 exposure, US Census data, and California Department of Public Health data to map multiple demographic characteristics of communities in California alongside concentrations of fire-PM2.5 pollution. The resulting quantification of risk factors compared to fire PM2.5 concentration estimates in California can help inform the decisions of public health officials and policymakers in regards to protection of communities from the negative health effects associated with fire PM2.5.