Warning prescribed burns are deadly.
The smoke could be killing you, your children, and your grandparents!
During the 1950's and 1960's everyone thought that the nuclear bomb tests in Nevada were a good idea until people begin dying from radiation poisoning. Today, we face a similar crisis. The U.S. Forest Service has convinced some people that prescribed burns and managed wildfires are safe methods of maintaining forest health when they are actually two of the deadliest acts known to mankind. The smoke from those fires carry thousands of deadly toxic substances into our communities killing hundreds people daily. They are also redistributing the old nuclear bomb test radiation back into our environment causing added death and health concerns to millions of citizens. The prescribed burns and managed wildfires are the worst things that the United States government has done to the American people in decades.
The smoke emitted from prescribed burns and managed wildfires is a very toxic air pollutant that is extremely dangerous to unborn fetuses, infant children and elderly people. It even affects normal healthy people without warning. Wood smoke pollution is 12 times more carcinogenic than cigarette smoke, attacks the body cells up to 40 times longer, and kills at least 40,000 adults and children every year. It contains a toxic soup of more than 4,000 chemical compounds of harmful gases and particle matter that go deep in the lungs and kill people, 69 of which are known human carcinogens, including arsenic, particulate matter, ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, dioxin, nitrogen oxides, and radioactive material. The tiny particles and gases seep inside of homes reaching up to 70 percent of the outside pollution level. Warnings to stay inside on high pollution days are misleading and false. No one can escape the deadly effects of prescribed burns.
For the vulnerable populations, such as elderly people, people with asthma, chronic respiratory disease, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease, prescribed burn smoke exposure is particularly harmful, even short exposures can prove fatal. The American Lung Association recently published an annotated bibliography of recent studies of the health effects of air pollution linking wood smoke and air pollution with lung cancer, breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, asthma, and brain damage. They identify the elderly and infirm at high risk to any level of particulate matter.
Exposure to prescribed burn smoke increases children risk of lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and has been linked to psychological disorders and toxic damage to the nervous system and the brain in developing fetuses and young children. Unborn fetuses and infant children are 10 times more vulnerable to damage than adults. The tiny dagger shaped smoke particles go deep into the child's lungs causing structural damage and chemical changes to the lung tissue. While some of the particles lodge in the child's lungs causing bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia, others pass through the lungs into the blood stream entering the child's systemic circulation causing organ failure and premature death. Studies show that prescribed burn smoke exposure prevents the proper development of an unborn fetus, prevents the proper development of internal organs in infant children, depresses the immune system, damages the nervous system, brain, and the layer of cells in the child's lungs that protect and cleanse the airways causing unexpected infant mortality.
Even normal healthy people are at risk without knowing it. EPA studies show that exposure to prescribed burn smoke can cause cancer, strokes, and a variety of serious illnesses in normal healthy people without warning. The smoke contains cancer-causing compounds that are twelve times more powerful than cigarette smoke. The carcinogenic compounds attach to tiny smoke particles and ride them into the lungs and blood stream where they penetrate immune defenses and attack internal organs causing, strokes, heart failure, kidney failure, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and breast cancer in healthy people without warning. Symptoms may not appear for months or even years giving little or no warning until it is too late.
Nuclear Radiation Redistributed by Prescribed Burn Smoke
Prescribed burn smoke is toxic and kills people, but that's not all it does. Recently, experts have discovered that the prescribed burns and managed wildfires are reigniting old radiation fallout from past bomb tests spreading it into our communities. During the 1950's and 1960's, many states were the tragic recipients of massive amounts of radioactive waste from atomic bomb testing in Nevada. As a result, the long lived radioactive particles settled into the soils and vegetation of our forests. The undisturbed, unburned ponderosa pine sites provide a relatively stable reservoir of fallout radio nuclides that when burned becomes the primary contributor to the elevated concentrations in residual ash. In short, the atomic bomb fallout from the past nuclear testing in Nevada settled into the forests in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and many other states where it lay dormant for years until disturbed by prescribed burning (See exposure radiation map1 and radiation map2). When ignited and burned, the radioactive forest becomes a second nuclear reaction by releasing those long lived radioactive particles into the air and water through the fire's gasses and particulate matter. Since the radioactive fallout lives for 300 years or more before becoming safe to ingest, the redistribution of that radiation through prescribed burn smoke is a very serious threat to public health, but the news media, air quality agencies, and forest supervisors continue to ignore the health hazards of prescribed burning and continue to allow burning without any proper testing to determine the amount of radioactive particulate matter re-distributed into our environment by prescribed burn smoke.
The video below is an excellent educational documentary that accurately depicts the toxic effects of prescribed burn smoke on our environment and human health. It is a must see video for adults and children. We suggest that you watch it in its entirety. If you cannot watch it now, please download it to watch later.
Click on the video image to watch it now.
Click here to download it (let it load then click the download button).
Prescribed Burns - Money Makers - Not Useful Tools
In the past, the U.S. Forest Service would burn a few hundred acres of forest land and debris each year causing little harm, but recently they have been burning thousands of acres daily while letting wildfires burn themselves out at the same time causing heavy smoke accumulations across the United States. The managed wildfires burn for weeks at a time filling the air with toxic smoke while prescribed burns add even more. The smoke lingers over populated areas for months at a time without dissipating ruining scenic views, decreasing property values, and killing people. Officials argue that fire is a necessary natural occurrence used to revitalize the forest in the past and should be continued today through prescribed burns and managed wildfires. Consequently, those alleged revitalization fires burned centuries ago in unpopulated areas having little or no effect on public health where the modern prescribed burns are done near populated areas where they endanger millions of people daily.
There is a better way. Unlike fires that kill trees, animals, and people, mechanical methods such as tree thinning and mulching machines remove only unwanted trees and brush grinding them into healthy mulch leaving the forest clean and healthy instead of burned and charred. Mechanical methods are cleaner, safer and properly maintain forest health while protecting the environment from air pollution, but officials argue that prescribed burns are easier, cheaper and increase their budget faster than other methods. In a recent interview, one Forest Service official stated that it is cheaper to burn than to use mechanical methods, admitting that budget money is their primary concern not human life. Another Forest Service official laughed when confronted about citizen health concerns and stated that they intend to continue burning as long as the weather permits "regardless of any health concerns." Two other forestry officials were seen laughing at an injured rabbit fleeing from one of their prescribed burns. It is obvious that Forestry officials care more about budget money and bad weather than public health and animal safety. They clearly show a reckless disregard for human life.
Experts agree that prescribed burns and managed wildfires will have little or no impacts on future wildfire control or forest health, but admit that they are public health hazards that emit enough smoke pollution to kill thousands of people annually. Consequently, the U.S. Forest Service has been burning thousands of acres daily while allowing hundreds of wildfires to burn themselves out causing massive air pollution across the United States. They are burning too much too often without proper regulation causing excessive smoke accumulations over populated areas injuring millions of people. Smoke related illnesses are being reported in record numbers. Medical facilities are reporting increases in respiratory illnesses, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and more people are using oxygen than ever before. People are suffering in record numbers but forestry officials just laugh and joke about our children's injuries and tell people to move if they don't like the smoke.
It is time to demand congressional action to stop the reckless pollution that is killing our children. Use the links below to contact your Senators and Congressmen. Demand a stop to all funding for prescribed burns and managed wildfires in the United States.
Citizen Letters - Publications - Legal
Other Websites of Interest:
Australian Website - Government puts forestry ahead of health.
AZPollution.com - Website showing graphic photos of wood smoke haze in Arizona.
Wood Burner Smoke - Cancer risk from wood smoke is twelve times greater than tobacco smoke
Take Back the Air - Grassroots organization dedicated to cleaning up the air.
Tahoe Sierra Clean Air Coalition - Nevada clean air organization dedicated to human health.
Once A Forest - Protecting & preserving the environment
Smoke Related Chemicals in Atmosphere Could Have Health Implications - There's more to prescribed burns than they are telling us.
Clean Air Revival - Wood smoke causes premature deaths in developing fetus, newborns, and others.
Burning Issues - Wood smoke is more damaging than tobacco smoke.
Medical Effects - Wood smoke is chemically active and causes increased infant and prenatal mortality.
Environmental and Human Health, Inc. - Wood smoke is carcinogenic - short exposures can prove dangerous.
Healthy Living Spaces - The risk of premature death in cities with high fine particulate levels is 17% higher.
Washington State Dept. of Ecology - Wood smoke linked to deaths in fetuses, newborns, children, and elderly.
Smoke Fact Sheet - Simple facts about wood smoke dangers.
Wood Smoke Causes Emphysema - A personal horror story about wood smoke.
Radiation Exposure Compensation Program - Radiation exposure and compensation
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