Many Australians are intermittently exposed to landscape fire smoke from wildfires or planned (prescribed) burns. This study aimed to investigate effects of outdoor smoke from planned burns, wildfires and a coal mine fire by assessing biomarkers of inflammation in an exposed and predominantly older population. Participants were recruited from three communities in south-eastern Australia. Concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were continuously measured within these communities, with participants performing a range of health measures during and without a smoke event. Changes in biomarkers were examined in response to PM2.5 concentrations from outdoor smoke. Increased levels of FeNO (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) (β = 0.500 [95%CI 0.192 to 0.808] p < 0.001) at a 4 h lag were associated with a 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 levels from outdoor smoke, with effects also shown for wildfire smoke at 4, 12, 24 and 48-h lag periods and coal mine fire smoke at a 4 h lag. Total white cell (β = −0.088 [−0.171 to −0.006] p = 0.036) and neutrophil counts (β = −0.077 [−0.144 to −0.010] p = 0.024) declined in response to a 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5. However, exposure to outdoor smoke resulting from wildfires, planned burns and a coal mine fire was not found to affect other blood biomarkers.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Jan 2021|
- Landscape fire
- White cell count