WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) applauds the efforts of the heroic emergency medical professionals working in regions impacted by the Amazon fires.
Destruction of the forest and its ecosystem will leave worrisome and potentially permanent agricultural and environmental scars. These fires also pose health risks for people nearby including smoke exposure or inhalation, pulmonary and respiratory irritation. Smoke and ash can travel thousands of miles, causing damage to the respiratory tract or lung infections while worsening conditions such as emphysema, asthma or COPD. These concerns are especially detrimental for indigenous people who may not have a hospital nearby or a fire department to call.
ACEP stands in solidarity with those putting themselves in harm’s way to save the planet and its inhabitants.