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Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.
In some people, smoke can cause:
Jefferson County Public Health reminds everyone that smoke-related health problems primarily depend on the level of exposure, individual age and physical susceptibility. Healthy individuals will normally recover quickly from smoke exposure and may not suffer long-term consequences; however, certain sensitive populations may experience more severe acute and chronic symptoms from smoke exposure.
If you have heart or lung disease, such as congestive heart failure, angina, COPD, emphysema or asthma, you are at higher risk of having health problems than healthy people.
Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, possibly because they are more likely to have heart or lung diseases than younger people.
Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke because their airways are still developing, and because they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also are more likely to be active outdoors.
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