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Opinion: Smoke from Canadian wildfires shows outdoor workers need air quality protections

In 20 states, people are once again breathing in hazardous smoke from Canadian wildfires. The return of the air quality warnings, just weeks after the first took much of the U.S. by surprise, are a reminder that we will keep experiencing these conditions in the absence of integrated and health-driven climate adaptation policies.

As global temperatures continue to rise, we are likely to see more periods of extreme and prolonged heat as well as reduced rainfall and humidity, which in turn increases the frequency and severity of wildfires. And, as evidenced by the 700 miles between the wildfires in Quebec and the hazardous smoke in Washington, D.C., climactic events can and do cross international borders.

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