"Wildfires are increasing in frequency and intensity in many countries, spreading smoke that contains noxious gases, chemicals and particulate matter and carries serious health risks. More toxic than air pollution, wildfire smoke can linger in the air for weeks and travel hundreds of miles.
Wildfires "are burning not only vegetative materials and trees but also cities, completely destroying vehicles and buildings and their contents," said Kent Pinkerton, Director of the Center for Health and the Environment at the University of California, Davis.
Along with particles of soil and biological materials, wildfire smoke often contains traces of metals, plastics and other synthetic materials.
Laboratory experiments have shown that a given amount of wildfire smoke causes more inflammation and tissue damage than the same amount of air pollution, Pinkerton said."