Event Title

Impacts of the 2003 Cedar Fire on Southern California Childhood Asthma Rates

Poster Number

10

Presenter Information

Andrew Chavous, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor

Bryan McFadden, M.S.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Location

Richardson Ballroom

Start Date

24-4-2015 3:20 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 4:50 PM

Description

The purpose of this study is to look at correlations in emissions of toxic wildfire smoke and its impacts on childhood asthma. To show this correlation, research is being conducted on the Cedar wildfire, which burned in Southern California from October 25 to November 3, 2003. In total, there were fifteen causalities and over 280,000 acres burned. The smoke produced from the fire contained a harmful combination of carbon dioxide, aldehydes, sulfuric acid, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic organic material, and other toxic pollutants. The main contributor to negative health impacts, however, was particulate matter (PM). PM less than 10 microns in size can greatly impair respiratory function. The smaller the diameter of the matter, the more potential damage it has on the respiratory system. Measurements from the Cedar wildfire showed that approximately 90 % of the PM was less than 2 microns. This PM was detected not only near the fire’s source, but spread over the Pacific Ocean and as far east as Las Vegas. Vulnerable populations for PM inhalation are both the young and old, and those with preexisting respiratory conditions. Various remotely sensed (satellite and aerial) datasets will be used to map the extent of the smoke plume during the fire event. This information will be compared to geocoded medical records of childhood asthma cases. The goal is to correlate at a finer level of spatial detail the impacts of fire on childhood asthma prevalence.

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Apr 24th, 3:20 PM Apr 24th, 4:50 PM

Impacts of the 2003 Cedar Fire on Southern California Childhood Asthma Rates

Richardson Ballroom

The purpose of this study is to look at correlations in emissions of toxic wildfire smoke and its impacts on childhood asthma. To show this correlation, research is being conducted on the Cedar wildfire, which burned in Southern California from October 25 to November 3, 2003. In total, there were fifteen causalities and over 280,000 acres burned. The smoke produced from the fire contained a harmful combination of carbon dioxide, aldehydes, sulfuric acid, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic organic material, and other toxic pollutants. The main contributor to negative health impacts, however, was particulate matter (PM). PM less than 10 microns in size can greatly impair respiratory function. The smaller the diameter of the matter, the more potential damage it has on the respiratory system. Measurements from the Cedar wildfire showed that approximately 90 % of the PM was less than 2 microns. This PM was detected not only near the fire’s source, but spread over the Pacific Ocean and as far east as Las Vegas. Vulnerable populations for PM inhalation are both the young and old, and those with preexisting respiratory conditions. Various remotely sensed (satellite and aerial) datasets will be used to map the extent of the smoke plume during the fire event. This information will be compared to geocoded medical records of childhood asthma cases. The goal is to correlate at a finer level of spatial detail the impacts of fire on childhood asthma prevalence.