Annie Doubleday

Project title: Wildfire smoke and mortality validation study

Degree: MPH | Program: Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) | Project type: Practicum
Completed in: 2019 | Faculty advisor: Tania M Busch Isaksen


Background: Washington State does not have risk estimates for mortality due to exposure from wildfire smoke. The goal was to validate Washington State Department of Ecology’s concentration response function (CRF) estimating excess deaths due to exposure to wildfire smoke in the state, from 2006-2017.
Methods: Washington State geocoded death files were joined with population grids using ArcGIS, to assign individuals to exposure. The joined file was merged with the death statistical files to generate daily and yearly mortality rates to compare mortality rates generated by Ecology’s CRF. A t-test was run to compare observed versed expected mortality rates in order to validate the CRF estimates.
Results: The mortality rates based on true exposure are not significantly different from the CRF estimated mortality rates.
Conclusions: The CRF estimates are a valid method of estimating risk of mortality due to exposure to wildfire smoke in Washington State.