Alertes de sécurité

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26 août 2019 | 12h40 UTC

Brazil: Air pollution due to Amazon wildfires

Brazil Alerte de sécurité

Unhealthy air quality conditions reported in parts of Brazil due to wildfires in the Amazon forest

TIMEFRAME expected from 26/8/2019, 12h00 until 31/8/2019, 11h59 (America/Sao_Paulo). COUNTRY/REGION Brazil

Event

The thousands of ongoing wildfires in the Amazon are releasing toxic elements into the environment, posing a danger to populations in surrounding areas. The air quality in São José do Rio Preto (São Paulo state) has been recorded as unhealthy for sensitive groups on Monday, August 26.

Context

Wildfires have been burning in the Amazon for several days as of August 26, though some estimates indicate that more than 41,800 fires are ongoing in the region. Smog due to the wildfires was reported in São Paulo on August 19 after a combination of smoke, clouds, and a cold front steered the smoke into the city.

Wildfires emit substantial amounts of volatile and semi-volatile organic materials and nitrogen oxides that form ozone and particulate matter. Particulate matter can enter the respiratory system when inhaled and may reach the bloodstream. Other dangerous compounds such as carbon monoxide can cause health difficulties. Air pollution can cause breathing difficulties such as shortness of breath, coughing, and eye and nose irritation. Smoke inhalation may produce various symptoms.

Advice

Individuals in Brazil are advised to monitor local weather and air quality reports, refrain from outdoor or strenuous activity, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and see a medical practitioner if they suspect to have inhaled smoke.

 

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