Forest fires linked to tens of thousands of avoidable deaths

forest fires linked to tens of thousands of avoidable deaths

Sumary of Forest fires linked to tens of thousands of avoidable deaths:

  • Setting fire to forest and agricultural land in Southeast Asia to prepare it for cultivation or grazing causes air pollution that is contributing to an estimated 59,000 premature deaths a year, according to a new scientific study.
  • ” Burning — a major source of air pollutants Across Southeast Asia, an area including Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and southeast China, farmers burn forest as a way of clearing land for cultivation or to graze animals, often in the pre-monsoon period, usually in February to April.
  • The fires generate a range of harmful pollutants, including fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 — tiny particles that measure 2.5 microns (where a micron is one millionth of a metre) or less.
  • The concentration of PM2.5 — the fine particulates — would fall by between 40 and 70 percent in those areas experiencing the greatest emissions.
  • Using epidemiological modelling, the scientists calculated the reduction in PM2.5 could reduce premature deaths caused by exposure to air pollution.
  • In Southeast Asia deaths would fall by 12 percent, ranging from five percent in Vietnam to 28 percent in Laos and three percent in southeastern China.
  • In total an estimated 59,000 premature deaths could be prevented each year.
  • They also mapped poverty data against PM2.5 concentrations and found that poorer, rural populations in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar were exposed to higher levels of fine particle pollution.

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