Fires "poison the air" in the Amazon

 A recent study concluded that the fires in the Brazilian Amazon are "poisoning the air" and causing a significant increase in respiratory diseases, especially among infants in a region severely affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. .

Last year, fires destroyed the largest tropical forest in the world, causing 2,195 people to enter hospitals with respiratory problems, according to this study conducted by non-governmental organizations, including "Human Rights Watch."

Nearly a quarter of these people (467) were infants who had not completed their first year of age, while half of them were over the age of sixty.

Human Rights Watch, the Amazon Institute for Environmental Research and the Institute for Studies on Health Policy said in a joint statement that "fires caused by uncontrolled cutting have poisoned the air inhaled by millions of people, causing health damage throughout the Brazilian Amazon."

In view of recent data that shows worrying numbers about logging and fires in the Amazon, the study authors expressed their fear of a worsening situation in 2020, especially with the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The northern Brazilian states, especially the Amazon, which is covered by the vast tropical jungle, paid a heavy bill because of this situation, especially in April and May.

Although the situation has improved since then, hospitals may be stretched again due to the increase in fires, which rage even more between August and October.

Another study, published by the Socio-Environmental Institute on Tuesday, showed an increase in hospital admissions among indigenous people during the height of the Amazon fire season.

Experts see a worsening of these problems since the arrival of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to power in early 2019.

"The Bolsonaro administration's continued inability to address this environmental crisis has direct implications for the health of the Amazon population, and its long-term effects will be evident in terms of global climate change," said Human Rights Watch director in Brazil, Maria Laura Caninho.

But Bolsonaro recently described the warning stances about the seriousness of the Amazon fires as "lies."

Satellite imagery distributed by the National Institute for Space Research, a public agency, showed a 28 percent increase in fires in July compared to the same period last year.


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