Dr. Moench on Utah Public Radio: Wildfire smoke contributes to poor air quality in Utah

Brianhead wildfire in the village of Brian Head, on the Dixie National Forest in Utah on June 17, 2017. Forest Service photo by Eric Eastep

UPHE board president and founder, Dr. Brian Moench, went on Utah Public Radio to discuss the dangers of wildfire smoke to human health. Wildfire smoke is a big contributor to Utah’s hazardous air quality. Wildfire smoke falls into the PM2.5 category of pollution, which means we breathe it into our lung tissue.

Dr. Moench points out that “wildfire smoke particles are often even smaller. This makes wildfire smoke one of the most toxic types of particulate pollution the average person is exposed to.

“It can penetrate cellular membranes and get right inside individual cells, including the nucleus of the cell. So, there, it can interfere with virtually every cellular function that exists,” Moench said on UPR.

“Poor air quality impacts human health in many ways, not just in the form of respiratory issues. Air pollution is associated with cardiovascular disease, inflammatory conditions, stillbirths and other poor pregnancy outcomes, brain dysfunction, and neurologic disease.”

Listen to the 2 minute clip here.

Read more about the health consequences of wildfire smoke here.