Burned in the Amazonian forest: Your health may be in danger

amazon forest

(Yong Chuan, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Natália Federle, a 23 year old medical student in her third year in Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The Amazon is the largest biome in Brazil with a territory of 4,196,943 million km2 (IBGE, 2004), in addition, there is the largest watershed in the world: the Amazon Basin. In its grandeur, inhabit countless species of plants, terrestrial animals, aquatic animals and humans. Besides being the habitat of these living beings and being essential for the perpetuation of these populations, it interferes in the health of the man who inhabits places close to it, but also interferes in the health of the world population.

Its greatest importance is related to respiratory health, because the forest makes the process of evapotranspiration, whose event takes moisture and influences the rainfall regime in several regions of Brazil and neighboring countries. However, currently, the fires of the Amazon are influencing this process. By burning the trees, the CO2, which at high levels is toxic to the health of living beings, spreads. Particles of chemical compounds are released in large quantities and are suspended in the air, suitable for inhalation by humans. Moreover, the process of evapotranspiration ceases to occur, making the air dry, and hindering the respiratory process.

Smoke with its particles and dry air can cause harmful effects on man’s health. Ocular lacrimation, headache and dry cough are some of the symptoms caused by the smoke. Moreover, among the effects of burning are the inflammatory processes caused by inhalation of particles such as shortness of breath, rhinitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchitis. Also, due to frequent exposure to chemical particles, neoplasms may arise. All these diseases and symptoms are related to the population that lives near the areas of burning. But if we think about global health in general, the fires in the Amazon have a less immediate and direct influence on health, but still very important. The motive: Global warming!

Global warming means increasing the average temperature of the earth caused by the accumulation of pollutant gases, it can cause man respiratory and dermatological allergies, spread of diseases, among countless other evils. The human being, to have a healthy life, needs the protection of the ozone layer, so that the intense radiation does not reach it, moreover it needs that the temperature is not so high and that there is humidity in the air. The fires affect all this.

Therefore, thinking globally, the fires in the Amazon do not affect only the Brazilian people and the species of living beings that inhabit it. For those who live in distant countries of this immense forest, it seems that their effects will never reach them, but gradually the effects of global warming will become increasingly intense and will influence global health.

References

  1. Amazon [Internet]. Brazil: Ministry of Environment; [Cited in 2019 Aug. 31]. Available at: https://www.mma.gov.br/biomas/amazônia.html.
  2. Renata Turbiani. Smoke from burning is a threat to public health, alerting doctors [Internet]. Brazil: BBC; [Updated on 2019 Aug. 22; cited in 2019 Aug. 31]. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-49430367

About the author

Natália Federle is 23 years old and a third year medical student. She works as a local coordinator in IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar. She is part of two academic leagues: gastroenterology and pneumonology. Interested in how to make a medicine more humanized and focused on the individual as a unique being.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Trump’s Syrian hit the softest option vis-a-vis Russia

Crimean crisis: not enough to slow down European indices

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

Main results of Foreign Affairs EU Council, 16/07/2018

The EU seals CETA but plans to re-baptise TTIP after missing the 2016 deadline

EU integration: MEPs want to end permanent opt-outs from EU law

UN rights chief ‘appalled’ by US border detention conditions, says holding migrant children may violate international law

Consultant in Forensic Technology – 1969

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

How our food system is eating away at nature, and our future

Peace operations benefit from improved cooperation between the UN and troop-providing countries, says peacekeeping chief

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part II)

UN and African Union in ‘common battle’ for development and climate change financing

The Bavarians threaten Berlin and Brussels with immigration crisis

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Praising Roma’s contributions in Europe, UN expert urges end to rising intolerance and hate speech

Brexit: MEPs concerned over reported UK registration plans for EU27 citizens

This Chinese megacity is building a giant waste-to-energy plant

Here’s how we reboot digital trade for the 21st century

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

Children who exercise have more brain power, finds study

A Europe that protects: Continued efforts needed on security priorities

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

‘Let the children live’: UN prepares to ramp up food aid to Yemen as famine risk grows

FEATURE: Niger’s girls find sanctuary in fistula treatment centres

IMF’s Lagarde: Ukraine must fight corruption

European Commission recommends common EU approach to the security of 5G networks

Help prevent children ‘from becoming victims in the first place’, implores Guterres at campaign launch

COP21 Business update: Companies urge now for carbon pricing as coal is still a big issue

The Japanese have a word to help them be less wasteful – ‘mottainai’

6 facts to know about EU alternative investment funds

Why do US presidential elections last so long? And 4 other things you need to know

It will take a lot more than free menstrual pads to end period poverty

Who should be responsible for protecting our personal data?

WHO study reveals ‘game-changer’ drug with potential to save thousands of women’s lives in childbirth

UN chief condemns student abductions in north-west Cameroon

The Commission unsuccessfully pretends to want curbing of tax evasion

To win combat against HIV worldwide, ‘knowledge is power’, says UNAIDS report

A new European banking space is born this year

Caspian Sea deal an invaluable step towards easing regional tensions, says UN Chief

EU budget deal struck with Parliament negotiators

Three ideas for leaders to be more successful in the 21st century

‘All efforts must be made’ to ensure peaceful elections for Guinea-Bissau, Security Council hears

Young people all over the world come together to demand paid good quality internships

Banks suffocate the real economy by denying loans

For how long will terror and economic stagnation be clouding the European skies?

UN chief praises Japanese climate resilience, as Typhoon Hagibis cleanup begins

Why Eurozone needs a bit more inflation

Don’t understand the US-China trade war? This metaphor could help

India-UN fund gets 22 development projects off the ground in first year

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Millions at risk if Syria’s war moves to last redoubt of Idlib, warns senior aid official

Commission to decide on bank resolution issues

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

Breaking barriers between youth in the new tech era: is there an easy way through?

Why strive for Industry 4.0

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

Russia to cut gas supplies again: can the EU get back to growth without a solid energy market?

Keep Africa’s guns ‘from firing in the first place’, UN political chief urges

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s