Indonesian agribusiness interests are responsible for hundreds of thousands of premature deaths from the after effects of smoke from last year’s forest fires, according to a report released by Harvard University this week.
This time last year, the smoke haze from the fires blanketed South East Asia, diverting aircraft and causing illness in countries from Malaysia to the Philippines and New Guinea.
The Harvard University study identified the tiny smoke particles, less than 2.5mirons in diameter as reaching deep into the lungs and bloodstream of humans, causing a long list of ailments such as decreased lung function, heart attack, aggravated asthma, and premature death.
Agricultural fires in Indonesia linked to 100,000 premature deaths
Fires associated with palm oil and timber are mostly to blame. Smoke haze from agricultural fires may have caused more than 100,000 premature deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore last fall