The Grapevine

Amazon Rainforest 2019: Here’s How Ongoing Fire May Affect Your Body

Many netizens have been calling on government leaders, especially in Brazil, to better protect the Amazon. The call comes after reports emerged about the ongoing wildfires that damaged large parts of the rainforest. 

Ecologists and advocates also highlighted the potential impacts of losing the rainforest and how it can contribute to the climate crisis. But people should also know the negative effects of the ongoing Amazon fire in the human body. 

The wildfires blazing in “the planet’s lungs” can also damage yours. The world population gets nearly 20 percent of its oxygen from the Amazon but the growing fire may soon cut supply of clean air and deliver harmful effects.

Environmental advocates claimed that human activities started the widespread devastation. Nonprofit organization Amazon Watch said that local farmers recently tried to organize a coordinated "fire day" to expand the land available for agriculture, CNN reported Friday.  

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has also received criticisms for previously encouraging cattle ranchers and loggers to clear the forest for commercial use.  

“The vast majority of these fires are human-lit,” Christian Poirier, program director of Amazon Watch, said. “The Amazon is incredibly important for our future, for our ability to stave off the worst of climate change. We're looking at untold destruction — not just of the Amazon but for our entire planet.”

How Amazon Rainforest Fire Would Affect Humans

The sky over Sao Paolo in Brazil this week turned black after thick smoke from the burning forest reached the city. Smoke and ash reportedly travelled nearly 2,000 miles away, which caused darkness during the day.

Many people who were exposed to the smoke or close to the fire are at risk of serious health problems. The exposure may damage cells and the respiratory tract that cause poor flow of oxygen around the body. 

“When you breathe in smoke you’re inhaling all sorts of harmful smoke particles, chemicals and gases, which can cause damage to the respiratory tract and cut off your supply of oxygen,” Dr Diana Gall from Doctor4U told Daily Express. “Conditions such as COPD, asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis can be made worse with smoke inhalation.”

Long term exposure to smoke can also lead to infections in the lungs. Such conditions could lead to a severe injury that may require inhalers to support breathing “for the rest of your life,” Gall said.

forest fire Experts said that forest fires can contribute to climate crisis and cause health problems in humans. Pixabay