New study shows how pollution from wildfire smoke affects teens' health

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- A new study finds that air pollution from wildfire smoke in California is affecting the long-term health of teenagers.

Researchers at Stanford University looked at teens who were exposed to wildfire smoke this year in Fresno, Calif.

RELATED: Power shutoffs underway in SoCal neighborhoods on Thanksgiving amid fire danger

The study found those teens had an increased amount of inflammatory markers in their blood.

That would make them more prone to getting asthma and developing genetic changes to their immune systems.

RELATED: San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality: Here's why the sky is orange, even though you don't smell smoke

"During a wildfire, we can't go by whether or not we smell it in the air. Even if we don't smell it, the particles can be inhaled and damage our health," said Mary Prunicki, M.D., PH.D of Stanford Medicine.

Yearly, about 7.6 million children and teens are exposed to wildfire smoke across the U.S.

RELATED: Live: Track Bay Area air quality levels

Researchers say no exposure is better and warn parents to keep children and teens inside while smoke is detected in the air.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.