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Sukanya Jaiswal, Isabelle Jalbert, Katrina Schmid, Natasha Tein, Sarah Wang, Blanka Golebiowski
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Cataloging Information

Smoke & Populations

NRFSN number: 24919
FRAMES RCS number: 66241
Record updated:

Wildfires are occurring worldwide with greater frequency and intensity. Wildfires, as well as other sources of air pollution including environmental tobacco smoke, household biomass combustion, agricultural burning, and vehicular emissions, release large amounts of toxic substances into the atmosphere. The ocular surface is constantly exposed to the ambient air and is hence vulnerable to damage from air pollutants.

This review describes the detrimental effects of wildfire smoke and air pollution on the ocular surface and resultant signs and symptoms. The latest relevant evidence is synthesised and critically evaluated. A mechanism for the pathophysiology of ocular surface damage will be proposed considering the existing literature on respiratory effects of air pollution. Current strategies to reduce human exposure to air pollutants are discussed and specific possible approaches to protect the ocular surface and manage air pollution induced ocular surface damage are suggested.

Further avenues of research are suggested to understand how acute and chronic air pollution exposure affects the ocular surface including the short and long-term implications.


Jaiswal, Sukanya; Jalbert, Isabelle; Schmid, Katrina; Tein, Natasha; Wang, Sarah; Golebiowski, Blanka. 2022. Smoke and the eyes: a review of the harmful effects of wildfire smoke and air pollution on the ocular surface. Environmental Pollution 309:119732.

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