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Wildfire Smoke, Air Quality and Your Health

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Visitors wearing masks walk to protect themselves from smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire walk on State Street, the main shopping street in Santa Barbara, California, December 12, 2017. (Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Even for healthy adults wildfire smoke can cause problems. Symptoms include coughing, airway irritation and difficulty breathing. The threat of smoke pollution is much more serious for the young, elderly and chronically ill who may be more susceptible to bronchitis or pneumonia. In this segment, we’ll find out what to do when the air is smoky and get a better understanding of the air quality index. We’ll also discuss what the newest research tells us about toxins in wildfire pollution.


Sharon Chinthrajah, clinical associate professor in the divisions of allergy and immunology, pulmonary and critical care. Stanford University<br />

Kirk R. Smith, professor of global environmental health, UC Berkeley<br />


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