Wildfire smoke harms more people in the Eastern U.S. than West, study shows
On July 20, a haze blanketed the sky across the eastern half of the United States. People from Washington to New York snapped pictures of the abnormal hues — only to learn that the cause originated from wildfires nearly 3,000 miles away.
As large fires smolder in the western United States, the smoke can travel across the country, blanketing large population centers. Now, a recent study shows that smoke, from both western wildfires and local sources, may be more harmful to residents in the eastern United States than many think. About 75 percent of asthma cases and deaths from smoke pollutants occurred east of the Rocky Mountains in recent years, according to the study, posted on the website Advancing Earth and Space Science.
“We have this increasing threat to our air quality and health of these wildfires and smoke, and so we wanted to try and understand and quantify the burden that smoke poses to health in the United States,” one of the researchers told the Washington Post.