Journal Articles

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Lancet Regional Health Americas


As wildfire risks have elevated due to climate change, the health risks that toxicants from fire smoke pose to wildland firefighters have been exacerbated. Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has reclassified wildland firefighters' occupational exposure as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). Wildfire smoke contributes to an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, yet wildland firefighters have inadequate respiratory protection. The economic cost of wildland fires has risen concurrently, as illustrated by the appropriation of $45 billion for wildfire management over FYs 2011-2020 by the U.S. Congress. Occupational epidemiological studies of wildland firefighters are crucial for minimizing health risks; however, they must account for the mixture of exposures in wildfire smoke. This review focuses on four aspects of wildland firefighters' health risks at the wildland-urban interface: 1) economic costs and health impact, 2) respiratory protection, 3) multipollutant mixtures, and 4) proactive management of wildfires.


Exposure assessment, Firefighter, Multi-pollutant mixtures of fire smoke, Occupational and environmental health, Prescribed burn, Wildfire, Wildland-urban interface (WUI)

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