Maui Fire Could Endanger The Health of Locals Due to Chemical Released

Maui Fire Could Endanger The Health of Locals Due to Chemical Released

Analyzing the health effects due to the Maui wildfire, and the possible long-term health effects that can cause the residents. 

News Published 2023.08.21 | Gena Lee

(Photo=LA Times)

In the morning of August 7th, Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency had announced the possible dangers that would be caused by Hurricane Dora. The HEMA announced “with low humidity, gusty winds and dry fuels” creates a great risk of extreme fire behavior. 

(Photo=AP News)

And the next day, August 8th, with the high wind speed of Dora exacerbated the situation, causing a 3 acre fire in the seaside town of Lahaina. This Lahaina fire later flared up and by 3 p.m, Governor Josh Green declared an emergency proclamation. The wildfire currently has burned about 2,170 acres of land and caused 110 death tolls and about 1,300 of people remain unaccounted for. 

(Photo=the Mirror)

This wildfire not only left the whole Hawaii in shock, but also could lead to adverse health effects. The Hawaii State Health Department cautioned on Friday that debris from the fire can cause serious health issues. The buildings in the areas of Lahaina were built in the 1970s, meaning lead and asbestos were used in the process of construction. For instance, exposure to lead can lead to serious harm in the body system as lead accumulates in our bones, liver, and kidneys, leading its path into the bloodstream. 

(Photo=People Magazine)

In addition, the fire has possibly stripped some of the arsenic contained in the soil, and compounds from rubber, metal, or plastic. All of these compounds count as volatile organic compounds (possible compounds that increase the risk of cancers, birth defects, and cognitive impairments). 

Due to all of these air contamination, the State Health Department sent out a statement regarding the safety for the residents who have been allowed to return to their residence. The State’s health department has been handing out 5,000 N95 masks and have recommended the residents to continue to use N95 or NIOSH masks, gloves, sunscreen, goggles, socks, pants, closed-toe shoes, and long sleeves to protect from the ashes.

#Hawaii #Maui #MauiWildfires #health #healthnews #safe #staysafe #fire #wildfire #Lahainafire #Lahaina

Gena Lee (

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