Skip to main content
Tufts Public Health

Estimating the Health Effects of Wildfires: A Burning Concern

“Getting an accurate idea of the full picture of the long-term health effects of fast-moving, widespread wildfires is very difficult,” said Laura Corlin, an environmental epidemiologist at Tufts University School of Medicine. Photo: Pixabay
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Growing up with asthma in Colorado, Laura Corlin, A13, EG15, EG18, an environmental epidemiologist at Tufts University School of Medicine, remembers how wildfire season affected her everyday life.

“Summer wildfires sometimes meant that I couldn’t go outside without coughing,” said Corlin who—even now—has to minimize her exposure to asthma attack triggers such as pollution and cigarette smoke.

Corlin’s personal experiences inspired her to study environmental health issues, which have been the focus of her career at Tufts, first as a student and now as a new professor of public health and community medicine. Her current research focuses on measuring and understanding the health consequences of air pollution, particularly how ultrafine particles in polluted air affect people with chronic health conditions.

Tufts Now spoke to Corlin about the health impacts of wildfires—and why it’s so challenging to determine who is most at risk.

Read More