07:38, July 20, 2022
After more than a week of fires in Gironde, residents and holidaymakers are faced with columns of smoke, visible for miles around. But are they dangerous to health? Frédéric Le Guillou, pulmonologist and president of the association Santé Respiratoire France, recalls their toxicity.
For several days now, the inhabitants and holidaymakers of Gironde have seen columns of smoke rising up in the sky, from their homes or the edge of the beach. But are these fumes dangerous for them? Are there preventive measures to take?
“It is absolutely necessary to withdraw from the exposure of the smoke”
For Frédéric Le Guillou, pulmonologist and president of the association Santé Respiratoire France, “the fumes are a real toxic cocktail. There are two types of fumes: first black fumes in which we can find benzene, cyanide and carbon monoxide. And then there are the white fumes which, they release fine particles which are harmful, penetrate to the pulmonary alveoli, then pass into the blood vessels and can cause vascular complications with paper clips, that is to say clots. It can happen from the moment you start having the first symptoms, the stinging of the eyes, the itchy nose, the cough”, he explains.
“It is absolutely necessary to withdraw from exposure to smoke to avoid more significant poisoning. To protect yourself, we close the windows, we stay at home. We can put on a mask to limit the inhalation of these particles and therefore reduce the risk”, advises the pulmonologist.