The relation of deforestation and respiratory diseases

lungs

(Michael Olsen, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Eloyne Sartor Holanda Moraes, a 22 year-old medical student born in Guarantã do Norte – Mato
Grosso, Brazil, resident of Maringá – Paraná, 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 use of fire as an agricultural tool generates several impacts on the environment, including the loss of biodiversity. Deforestation and burning are today, in Brazil, the two biggest environmental issues faced. Although they are distinct practices, the felling of vegetation is almost always associated with the burning of plant material. Such practices directly influence the balance of ecosystems, on human health and consequently, on the planet.

The intensity and indiscriminate use of  fire have become a serious environmental problem for the country. Besides that, the dry climate in several regions of the country allows the spread of fire, so many kilometers of vegetation can be destroyed in moments, in addition, biomass burning is an incomplete combustion process whereby the material reacts rapidly with air producing intense heat and light release. During the combustion process are released chemical species such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxides (NO3), hydrocarbons and aerosol particles, which are incorporated into the atmosphere and transported to locations distant from the burn site, reaching other places. . These elements undergo photochemical reactions that help in the formation of secondary pollutants, such as ozone (O3), aldehydes and peroxiacil, which are more toxic than their precursors.

Therefore, gases released during burning are highly toxic to both the ecosystems and human health. The World Health Organization (WHO), in a document prepared for events related to forest burns, highlight health as dependent on a healthy environment, highlighting the need to address burning problems in a global context of change. In human health, the respiratory tract is the most affected by such practices, and 60% of respiratory diseases are related to environmental pollutants.

In a cross-sectional study conducted in Tangará da Serra – MT, in the Brazilian Amazon, Rosa et al, analyzed the hospitalizations for respiratory diseases in children under 15 years old in an area with high levels of environmental pollution. In 2005, the hospitalization rate for respiratory diseases in children under 15 years old was 70.1 / 1,000 children in the Tangará da Serra microregion. Between 2000 and 2005, in the county, there were 12,777 hospitalizations of children, of which 8,142 (63.7%) for respiratory diseases.

In the dry season (May to October) there were 10% more hospitalizations for respiratory diseases than in the rainy season (November to April). The main causes of hospitalization were: pneumonia (90.7%) and respiratory failure (8.5%). In children under 5 years of age, hospitalizations for pneumonia were more than 4 times expected for the region. Children under 12 months of age were most often hospitalized, with an average increase of 32.4 hospitalizations per 1,000 children each year. Tangará da Serra has shown a high number of hospitalizations for respiratory diseases, so it is consistent to consider it as a priority area for research and monitoring of environmental risk factors for such diseases.

References

  • Rosa, A.M; Ignotti, E; Hacon, S. S; Castro, H.A; Análise das internações por doenças respiratórias em Tangará da Serra – Amazônia Brasileira. J Bras Pneumol 2008.
  • Gonçalves, K.S; Castro, H.A; Hacon, S.S; As queimadas na região amazônica e o adoecimento respiratório. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17

About the author

Eloyne Sartor Holanda Moraes, 22 years old, born in Guarantã do Norte – Mato
Grosso, Brazil, resident of Maringá – Paraná, Brazil. Medical student at the Ingá
University Center in Maringá – PR, Brazil. Founding member and local president of the
local committee IFMSA Brazil – UNINGÁ.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

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

Eurozone governed by an obscure body and gray procedures

Why a multi-stakeholder approach is essential to our risk resiliency

LGBTQI+ and health care: do they deserve more attention from medical universities?

These rules could save humanity from the threat of rogue AI

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

5 things you need to know about creativity

Islamophobia is driving more US Muslims to become politically engaged, suggests report

The future of crypto-assets, from opportunities to policy implications

3.7 million lives could be saved by 2025 if health services ramp up nutrition actions: WHO

Medical students, climate change and health: an unorthodox combination

CHALLENGING THE ZEITGEIST OF DIGITAL – Change making projects innovate mobile support for refugees, inclusive environments, early breast cancer detection and more

These are the 5 most exciting cycling projects in the world

UN chief welcomes ‘positive steps’ towards peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia

‘Brutal weather’ continues as Rohingya refugee children endure devastating rainfall in Bangladesh

One more country to test the EU project: Kaczynski’s Poland

‘Do something’; UN relief chief urges Security Council action to stop the Syrian carnage unfolding ‘in front of your eyes’

The age of influence: why digital platforms must come clean about political ads

GSMA Outlines New Developments For MWC19 Shanghai

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

This graphene battery can recharge itself to provide unlimited clean energy

The untold story of who caused and who pays for the economic crisis

‘Democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people’ must be met urges Guterres, following military removal of al-Bashir from power

Eurozone plans return to growth

Guterres expresses ‘grave concern’ following explosion at large political rally for reform-minded Ethiopian Prime Minister

The Next Web 2014, the biggest European conference on Internet so far and the Absence of Brussels from Amsterdam

What has a year of experiments taught us about basic income?

Mexico: UN chief saddened by pipeline blast in which dozens were killed

Here are 10 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspirational quotes

Thursday’s Daily Brief: STIs worldwide, food safety and food prices, updates on Iraq and East Africa

The next talent opportunity for the digital workplace? Neurodiversity

Cyber attacks are shutting down countries, cities and companies. Here’s how to stop them

The right approach to addressing overcapacity problem from a Chinese perspective

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: UNESCO ready to help after Notre Dame fire, and updates on Libya, Nicaragua, and the Cyclone Idai response

Aid stepped up to Syria camp; new arrivals say terrorists blocked their escape

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

These are the places with the most climate change deniers

Strong multilateral institutions key to tackling world’s dramatic challenges, UN chief says In Moscow

The mental health of health professionals: is it worth it?

Car rentals: EU action leads to clearer and more transparent pricing

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

Mental health and suicide prevention: why focus on primary care

Solidarity needed to overcome ‘isolated’ attacks on Venezuela refugees, migrants

How Eurozone consumers spend their income when they have one…

COP25: Support business efforts to tackle climate change, urges Guterres

Protecting whistle-blowers: new EU-wide rules approved

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Sri Lanka PM: This is how I will make my country rich by 2025

How sustainable infrastructure can help us fight climate change

Brazil identifies a clear pathway for aligning its transfer pricing framework with the OECD standard

EU-US ties to break over Iran; Democrats’ electoral win may not change it

Boris ‘single-handed’ threatens mainland Europe; can he afford a no-deal Brexit?

Anti-vaccination scaremongering: What should we know about anti-vaccine argument?

Soil erosion must be stopped ‘to save our future’, says UN agriculture agency

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

In Washington D.C., Guterres signs pact with World Bank, meets US President Trump

Fostering global citizenship in medical students through exchanges

EU: Huge surplus in the trade of services with the rest of the world

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

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