Day One Project: CCST Proposal Recommends Tracking Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke for Biden-Harris Administration

April 22, 2021 | ,   | Contact: Teresa Feo, PhD

Photo of smoke from Camp Fire
NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey, and MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.

 

A new proposal written by experts from the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and Stanford University provides recommendations to reduce disaster costs through better tracking of wildfire-smoke health impacts. According to the proposal, the United States currently does not have a systematic method to track the health impacts and associated costs of wildfire smoke.

Published on Earth Day, the proposal, “Reduce Disaster Costs by Better Tracking Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke,” can be read and downloaded at the Day One Project’s website:

https://www.dayoneproject.org/post/reduce-disaster-costs-by-better-tracking-health-impacts-of-wildfire-smoke

The proposal builds on the findings and recommendations of CCST’s recent report, “The Costs of Wildfire in California.” It highlights that smoke from wildfires kills many more people than direct exposure to the heat and flames, but these devastating impacts are often not included in impact assessments due to a lack of available data.

 

 

The proposal includes the following summary recommendations for the Biden-Harris administration to “improve understanding of wildfire-smoke health impacts, better guide investments into wildfire management, and ultimately reduce the costs of wildfire disasters”:

 

“(1) Systematically track mortality and morbidity due to smoke from wildfire disasters.

“(2) Fund research to better understand the scale of wildfire-smoke health impacts, and to develop cost-effective approaches for reducing those impacts.

“(3) Ensure that approaches to respond to, recover from, and prevent wildfire disasters include goals to equitably reduce the wildfire-smoke health impacts.”

 

The proposal is part of CCST’s initiative on disaster resilience, mobilizing the science and technology expertise across California and beyond to deliver science-based recommendations toward resilience in the face of complex, intersecting disasters.

 

Proposal Authors:

Teresa Feo, PhD
Senior Science Officer
Author, “The Costs of Wildfire in California”
CCST

Mary Prunicki, PhD
Director, Air Pollution and Health Research
Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research
Stanford University
Steering Committee Member, “The Costs of Wildfire in California”

Brie Lindsey, PhD
Director, Science Services
CCST

Sarah Brady, PhD
Deputy Director
CCST

Amber Mace, PhD
Executive Director
CCST

 

###


About the California Council on Science and Technology

The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature — making California’s policies stronger with science and technology since 1988. We engage leading experts in science and technology to advise State policymakers — ensuring that California policy is strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation.

Recent Posts

How Climate Change Impacts Renewable Energy Production
Record low water levels during the 2021 drought forced a temporary shutdown of a hydroelectric power plant at Lake Oroville | Photo by CA DWR
Record low water levels during the 2021 drought forced a temporary shutdown of a hydroelectric ...
Introducing the 2022 Class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows
Headshots of the 2022 Fellows in a grid on a blue background
2022 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows   SACRAMENTO, CA—We are excited to introduce the 2022 ...
CCST and Blue Forest Seek Experts on Links Between Forest Health, Wildfire Smoke, and Public Health
Recommend an Expert SACRAMENTO, CA—The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and Blue Forest Conservation have received funding ...
From Fellow to 40 Under 40: Alum Spotlight with Dr. Debra Cooper
Photo of Debra Cooper with the blog title in orange lettering and over a blue background
This fall, 2015 CCST S&T Policy Fellow Debra Cooper, PhD, was recognized as a 40 ...