Climate change and public health is a topic gaining more and more media attention. Last November, residents of the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area were forced indoors for weeks as the air quality became hazardous due to the drifting smoke from the devastating Camp Fire. This wasn't the first time skies became cloudy with wildfire smoke, but residents wondered what repeated exposure to smoke was doing to their health. Media outlets consulted Dr. John Balmes for his expertise on breathing polluted air and using N-95 respirators.
Dr. Balmes is a Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco. He's also the Division Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital, as well as the Director of the Human Exposure Laboratory at the Lung Biology Center. A Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at UC Berkeley, he's Director of the Northern California Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and Center for Environmental Public Health Tracking.