Potential health impacts from a wildfire smoke plume over region Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Andreas Tornevi; Camilla Andersson; Ana Cristina Carvalho; Joakim Langner; Bertil Forsberg
Publication Year: 2023

Cataloging Information

  • asthma
  • chemistry transport model
  • health care visits
  • health impacts
  • PM2.5
  • respiratory health
  • Sweden
  • wildfires
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 6, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 68672


In the summer of 2018, Sweden experienced widespread wildfires, particularly in the region of Jämtland Härjedalen during the final weeks of July. We previously conducted an epidemiological study and investigated acute respiratory health effects in eight municipalities relation to the wildfire air pollution. In this study, we aimed to estimate the potential health impacts under less favorable conditions with different locations of the major fires. Our scenarios focused on the most intense plume from the 2018 wildfire episode affecting the largest municipality, which is the region’s only city. Combining modeled PM2.5 concentrations, gridded population data, and exposure-response functions, we assessed the relative increase in acute health effects. The cumulative population-weighted 24 h PM2.5 exposure during the nine highest-level days reached 207 μg/m3 days for 63,227 inhabitants. We observed a small number of excess cases, particularly in emergency unit visits for asthma, with 13 additional cases compared to the normal 12. Overall, our scenario-based health impact assessment indicates minor effects on the studied endpoints due to factors such as the relatively small population, limited exposure period, and moderate increase in exposure compared to similar assessments. Nonetheless, considering the expected rise in fire potential due to global warming and the long-range transport of wildfire smoke, raising awareness of the potential health risks in this region is important.

Online Link(s):
Tornevi, Andreas; Andersson, Camilla; Carvalho, Ana; Langner, Joakim; Forsberg, Bertil. 2023. Potential health impacts from a wildfire smoke plume over region Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden. Atmosphere 14(10):1491.