Saturday, 28 July 2012

Wildfire - increasing health risk?

The Health Protection Agency has the following information on its website.  

Wildfires are becoming an increasing problem globally, including in the UK. Human health can be adversely affected by wildfires in many ways. Respiratory morbidity predominates from exposure to wildfire smoke, but cardiovascular, ophthalmic and thermal injury, as well as psychological problems can result. Climate change is likely to lead in an increase in wildfire incidence.

There were over 58,000 wildfires in Great Britain in 2010/11.  The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) 2012 has cited wildfires amongst the top seven risks to the natural environment in England.  A 30% to 50% increase in wildfires by the 2080s is predicted.

It is good to see that the HPA is taking the issue seriously - it would be good if other parts of government would follow their lead.

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