Bushfire smoke harms the lungs like cigarette smoke

Bushfire smoke can damage the lungs in a similar way to smoking-related emphysema, according to a study from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.Published in international science journal PLOS ONE, the study found that breathing in smoke from burning wood and other biological materials – known as biomass fuels – can scar and inflame the lungs, increasing the risk of risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD.COPD is the umbrella term for lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma, and affects one in 13 Australians aged 40 and over. Cigarette smoke is the primary cause of the disease.

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About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.

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