Wildfires and health in Brazil

A study did a retrospective on the problems associated with wildfires that develop in Brazil

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Wildfires and health in Brazil

The study: Wildfire-related PM2.5 and health economic loss of mortality in Brazil, published on the Environment International, did a retrospective on the problems associated with wildfires that develop in Brazil. The research authors explained: "Wildfire imposes a high mortality burden on Brazil.

However, there is a limited assessment of the health economic losses attributable to wildfire-related fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We collected daily time-series data on all-cause, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality from 510 immediate regions in Brazil during 2000-2016.

The chemical transport model GEOS-Chem driven with Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED), in combination with ground monitored data and machine learning was used to estimate wildfire-related PM2.5 data at a resolution of 0.25° × 0.25°.

A time-series design was applied in each immediate region to assess the association between economic losses due to mortality and wildfire-related PM2.5 and the estimates were pooled at the national level using a random-effect meta-analysis.

We used a meta-regression model to explore the modification effect of GDP and its sectors (agriculture, industry, and service) on economic losses."

Wildfires and health in Brazil

The researchers then explained in their study: "During 2000-2016, a total of US$81.08 billion economic losses (US$5.07 billion per year) due to mortality were attributable to wildfire-related PM2.5 in Brazil, accounting for 0.68% of economic losses and equivalent to approximately 0.14% of Brazil's GDP extension.

The attributable fraction (AF) of economic losses due to wildfire-related PM2.5 was positively associated with the proportion of GDP from agriculture, while negatively associated with the proportion of GDP from service. Substantial economic losses due to mortality were associated with wildfires, which could be influenced by the agriculture and services share of GDP per capita.

Our estimates of the economic losses of mortality could be used to determine optimal levels of investment and resources to mitigate the adverse health impacts of wildfires."