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Health issues as wildfire smoke hits millions in US

California bill adopted to protect workers from wildfire smoke
Posted at 5:34 AM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 08:34:59-04

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — Wildfires churning out dense plumes of smoke as they scorch part of the U.S. West Coast have exposed more than 8 million people to hazardous pollution levels.

That's according to an Associated Press analysis of government air monitoring data.

Unhealthy particles carried by the smoke caused emergency room visits to spike and potentially thousands of deaths among the elderly and infirm, according to physicians, health authorities and researchers.

Major cities in Oregon last month suffered the highest pollution levels they've ever recorded when powerful winds supercharged fires in remote areas and sent smoke into Portland and other cities.