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Forest fire smoke

Clare Stawski, Julia Nowack, Gerhard Körtner, Fritz Geiser
Recent work has shown that the use of torpor for energy conservation increases after forest fires in heterothermic mammals, probably in response to the reduction of food. However, the specific environmental cues for this increased torpor expression remain unknown. It is possible that smoke and the novel substrate of charcoal and ash act as signals for an impending period of starvation requiring torpor. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the combined cues of smoke, a charcoal/ash substrate and food shortage will enhance torpor expression in a small forest-dwelling marsupial, the yellow-footed antechinus (Antechinus flavipes), because like other animals that live in fire-prone habitats they must effectively respond to fires to ensure survival...
January 15, 2017: Journal of Experimental Biology
Dewakar Sangaraju, Emily J Boldry, Yesha M Patel, Vernon Walker, Irina Stepanov, Daniel Stram, Dorothy Hatsukami, Natalia Tretyakova
1,3-Butadiene (BD) is an important industrial and environmental chemical classified as a known human carcinogen. Occupational exposure to BD in the polymer and monomer industries is associated with an increased incidence of lymphoma. BD is present in automobile exhaust, cigarette smoke, and forest fires, raising concern about potential exposure of the general population to this carcinogen. Following inhalation exposure, BD is bioactivated to 3,4-epoxy-1-butene (EB). If not detoxified, EB is capable of modifying guanine and adenine bases of DNA to form nucleobase adducts, which interfere with accurate DNA replication and cause cancer-initiating mutations...
February 20, 2017: Chemical Research in Toxicology
Xiaofei Yan, Hong Cheng, Yandong Zhao, Wenhua Yu, Huan Huang, Xiaoliang Zheng
Diverse sensing techniques have been developed and combined with machine learning method for forest fire detection, but none of them referred to identifying smoldering and flaming combustion phases. This study attempts to real-time identify different combustion phases using a developed wireless sensor network (WSN)-based multi-sensor system and artificial neural network (ANN). Sensors (CO, CO₂, smoke, air temperature and relative humidity) were integrated into one node of WSN. An experiment was conducted using burning materials from residual of forest to test responses of each node under no, smoldering-dominated and flaming-dominated combustion conditions...
2016: Sensors
Henry Cruz, Martina Eckert, Juan Meneses, José-Fernán Martínez
This article proposes a novel method for detecting forest fires, through the use of a new color index, called the Forest Fire Detection Index (FFDI), developed by the authors. The index is based on methods for vegetation classification and has been adapted to detect the tonalities of flames and smoke; the latter could be included adaptively into the Regions of Interest (RoIs) with the help of a variable factor. Multiple tests have been performed upon database imagery and present promising results: a detection precision of 96...
2016: Sensors
V Huijnen, M J Wooster, J W Kaiser, D L A Gaveau, J Flemming, M Parrington, A Inness, D Murdiyarso, B Main, M van Weele
In September and October 2015 widespread forest and peatland fires burned over large parts of maritime southeast Asia, most notably Indonesia, releasing large amounts of terrestrially-stored carbon into the atmosphere, primarily in the form of CO2, CO and CH4. With a mean emission rate of 11.3 Tg CO2 per day during Sept-Oct 2015, emissions from these fires exceeded the fossil fuel CO2 release rate of the European Union (EU28) (8.9 Tg CO2 per day). Although seasonal fires are a frequent occurrence in the human modified landscapes found in Indonesia, the extent of the 2015 fires was greatly inflated by an extended drought period associated with a strong El Niño...
2016: Scientific Reports
Ke Zu, Ge Tao, Christopher Long, Julie Goodman, Peter Valberg
During July 2002, forest fires in Quebec, Canada, blanketed the US East Coast with a plume of wood smoke. This "natural experiment" exposed large populations in northeastern US cities to significantly elevated concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), providing a unique opportunity to test the association between daily mortality and ambient PM2.5 levels that are uncorrelated with societal activity rhythms. We obtained PM2.5 measurement data and mortality data for a 4-week period in July 2002 for the Greater Boston metropolitan area (which has a population of over 1...
2016: Air Quality, Atmosphere, & Health
Hiep Nguyen Duc, Ho Quoc Bang, Ngo Xuan Quang
During the dry season, from November to April, agricultural biomass burning and forest fires especially from March to late April in mainland Southeast Asian countries of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam frequently cause severe particulate pollution not only in the local areas but also across the whole region and beyond due to the prevailing meteorological conditions. Recently, the BASE-ASIA (Biomass-burning Aerosols in South East Asia: Smoke Impact Assessment) and 7-SEAS (7-South-East Asian Studies) studies have provided detailed analysis and important understandings of the transport of pollutants, in particular, the aerosols and their characteristics across the region due to biomass burning in Southeast Asia (SEA)...
February 2016: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
David A Morgott
This review examines available published information on ethylene emission sources, emission magnitudes, and inhalation exposures in order to assess those factors and circumstances that can affect human contact with this omnipresent gas. The results reveal that airborne ethylene concentrations at the ppb levels are commonplace and can arise in the vicinity of traffic corridors, forest fires, indoor kitchens, horticultural areas, oil fields, house fires, and petrochemical sites. The primary biogenic sources of ethylene derive from microbial activity in most soil and marine environments as well as its biological formation in wide variety of plant species...
November 5, 2015: Chemico-biological Interactions
Mohammed F Tawfiq, Mohamed Kheireddine Aroua, Nik Meriam Nik Sulaiman
Atmospheric pollution and global warming issues are increasingly becoming major environmental concerns. Fire is one of the significant sources of pollutant gases released into the atmosphere; and tropical biomass fires, which are of particular interest in this study, contribute greatly to the global budget of CO and CO2. This pioneer research simulates the natural biomass burning strategy in Malaysia using an experimental burning facility. The investigation was conducted on the emissions (CO2, CO, and Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes (BTEX)) from ten tropical biomass species...
July 1, 2015: Journal of Environmental Sciences (China)
Joshua K Kibet, Lavrent Khachatryan, Barry Dellinger
Phenol and its derivatives (phenol, o-, m-, p-cresols, catechol, hydroquinone, methoxy substituted phenols, etc. referred to as phenolic compounds or phenols) are well-known toxicants that exist in the environment and affect both human and natural ecosystems. This study explores quantitatively the yields of phenolic compounds from the thermal degradation (pyrolysis and oxidative pyrolysis) of common tobacco biomass components (lignin, tyrosine, ethyl cellulose, sodium alginate, and laminarin) as well as some mixtures (lignin/tyrosine, ethyl cellulose/tyrosine and sodium alginate/tyrosine) considered important in high temperature cooking, tobacco smoking, and forest fires...
November 2015: Chemosphere
Amy K Huff, Shobha Kondragunta, Hai Zhang, Raymond M Hoff
Increasing development of exo-urban environments and the spread of urbanization into forested areas is making humans and forest ecosystems more susceptible to the risks associated with wildfires. Larger and more damaging wildfires are having a negative impact on forest ecosystem services, and smoke from wildfires adversely affects the public health of people living in exo-urban environments. Satellite aerosol measurements are valuable tools that can track the evolution of wildfires and monitor the transport of smoke plumes...
2015: Environmental Health Insights
Kathleen E McLean, Jiayun Yao, Sarah B Henderson
The British Columbia Asthma Monitoring System (BCAMS) tracks forest fire smoke exposure and asthma-related health outcomes, identifying excursions beyond expected daily counts. Weekly reports during the wildfire season support public health and emergency management decision-making. We evaluated BCAMS by identifying excursions for asthma-related physician visits and dispensations of the reliever medication salbutamol sulfate and examining their corresponding smoke exposures. A disease outbreak detection algorithm identified excursions from 1 July to 31 August 2014...
June 2015: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Martine Dennekamp, Lahn D Straney, Bircan Erbas, Michael J Abramson, Melita Keywood, Karen Smith, Malcolm R Sim, Deborah C Glass, Anthony Del Monaco, Anjali Haikerwal, Andrew M Tonkin
BACKGROUND: Millions of people can potentially be exposed to smoke from forest fires, making this an important public health problem in many countries. OBJECTIVE: In this study we aimed to measure the association between out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and forest fire smoke exposures in a large city during a severe forest fire season, and estimate the number of excess OHCAs due to the fire smoke. METHODS: We investigated the association between particulate matter (PM) and other air pollutants and OHCA using a case-crossover study of adults (≥ 35 years of age) in Melbourne, Australia...
October 2015: Environmental Health Perspectives
Annunziata Faustini, Ester R Alessandrini, Jorge Pey, Noemi Perez, Evangelia Samoli, Xavier Querol, Ennio Cadum, Cinzia Perrino, Bart Ostro, Andrea Ranzi, Jordi Sunyer, Massimo Stafoggia, Francesco Forastiere
BACKGROUND: An association between occurrence of wildfires and mortality in the exposed population has been observed in several studies with controversial results for cause-specific mortality. In the Mediterranean area, forest fires usually occur during spring-summer, they overlap with Saharan outbreaks, are associated with increased temperature and their health effects are probably due to an increase in particulate matter. AIM AND METHODS: We analysed the effects of wildfires and particulate matter (PM10) on mortality in 10 southern European cities in Spain, France, Italy and Greece (2003-2010), using satellite data for exposure assessment and Poisson regression models, simulating a case-crossover approach...
May 2015: Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Se-Chang Son, Seung Shik Park
A Korean prototype semi-continuous aerosol sampler was used to measure Asian dust particles. During two dust-storm periods, concentrations of crustal and trace elements were significantly enriched. Dust storms are one of the most significant natural sources of air pollution in East Asia. The present study aimed to evaluate use of a Korean semi-continuous aerosol sampler (K-SAS) in observation of mineral dust particles during dust storm events. Aerosol slurry samples were collected at 60 min intervals using the K-SAS, which was operated at a sampling flow rate of 16...
March 2015: Environmental Science. Processes & Impacts
Fay H Johnston, Stuart Purdie, Bin Jalaludin, Kara L Martin, Sarah B Henderson, Geoffrey G Morgan
BACKGROUND: Severe air pollution generated by forest fires is becoming an increasingly frequent public health management problem. We measured the association between forest fire smoke events and hospital emergency department (ED) attendances in Sydney from 1996-2007. METHODS: A smoke event occurred when forest fires caused the daily citywide average concentration of particulate matter (PM10 or PM2.5) to exceed the 99th percentile of the entire study period. We used a time-stratified case-crossover design and conditional logistic regression models adjusted for meteorology, influenza epidemics, and holidays to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for ED attendances on event days compared with non-event days for all non-trauma ED attendances and selected cardiorespiratory conditions...
2014: Environmental Health: a Global Access Science Source
B Coudour, K Chetehouna, S Rudz, P Gillard, J P Garo
Minimum ignition energies (MIE) of α-pinene-benzene/air mixtures at a given temperature for different equivalence ratios and fuel proportions are experimented in this paper. We used a cylindrical chamber of combustion using a nanosecond pulse at 1,064 nm from a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser. Laser-induced spark ignitions were studied for two molar proportions of α-pinene/benzene mixtures, respectively 20-80% and 50-50%. The effect of the equivalence ratio (Φ) has been investigated for 0.7, 0.9, 1.1 and 1.5 and ignition of fuel/air mixtures has been experimented for two different incident laser energies: 25 and 33 mJ...
2015: Journal of Hazardous Materials
Marcy L McNamara, Curtis W Noonan, Tony J Ward
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated a handful of instruments as Federal Reference or Federal Equivalency Methods (FRM and FEM, respectively) for the monitoring of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). More commonly used for indoor exposure assessment studies are optical scanning devices such as the DustTrak (TSI) due to the their portability and affordability. It is recommended by the manufacturer of these instruments that a "correction factor" be applied when assessing source-specific conditions...
June 1, 2011: Aerosol and Air Quality Research
Jiayun Yao, Jeff Eyamie, Sarah B Henderson
Exposure to forest fire smoke (FFS) is associated with multiple adverse health effects, mostly respiratory. Findings for cardiovascular effects have been inconsistent, possibly related to the limitations of conventional methods to assess FFS exposure. In previous work, we developed an empirical model to estimate smoke-related fine particulate matter (PM2.5) for all populated areas in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Here, we evaluate the utility of our model by comparing epidemiologic associations between modeled and measured PM2...
May 2016: Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology
Sérgio Nepomuceno Pereira, Jana Preißler, Juan Luis Guerrero-Rascado, Ana Maria Silva, Frank Wagner
Vertically resolved optical and microphysical properties of biomass burning aerosols, measured in 2011 with a multiwavelength Raman lidar, are presented. The transportation time, within 1-2 days (or less), pointed towards the presence of relatively fresh smoke particles over the site. Some strong layers aloft were observed with particle backscatter and extinction coefficients (at 355 nm) greater than 5 Mm(-1)sr(-1) and close to 300 Mm(-1), respectively. The particle intensive optical properties showed features different from the ones reported for aged smoke, but rather consistent with fresh smoke...
2014: TheScientificWorldJournal
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