UCLA’s Yifang Zhu comments on public health impacts of California’s wildfires and air pollution

September 14, 2020

Yifang Zhu (professor of environmental health sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health) was quoted in national media stories about the environmental and health impacts of the wildfires burning across California.

Yifang Zhu, UCLA
Yifang Zhu. Photo Source: UCLA

In coverage of the wildfires and smoke levels, the New York Times highlighted the severity of the fires’ secondary pollution effects. Zhu said that short-term exposure to tiny particles in polluted air can increase the risk of respiratory problems, such as asthma and other lung disorders.

Zhu was also quoted in a Los Angeles Times story about the role of climate change in the record-breaking wildfires, smog levels and heat that are affecting California. “When you add COVID, extreme heat, wildfires and air pollution all together, they’re all detrimental to public health, and it just makes things worse,” Zhu said.

Read the full stories in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

Additional coverage:

Los Angeles suffers worst smog in almost 30 years. Los Angeles Times. September 10, 2020.