So spikes in particulate pollution (woodsmoke is particulate pollution) lead to people suffering severe psychological stress. Yet we get spikes in particulate pollution every evening during the winter when people get home from work and light their wood burning heaters, that the statistical averaging methods used in monitoring (if there is any monitoring) average out of the data.
See this article in New Scientist. It says “A new study in seven cities across South Korea has uncovered a clear association between suicide and spikes of particulate pollution.”
“Further investigations of low-level exposure to particulate matter are needed,” says Chang Soo Kim of South Korea’s Yonsei University.
I am not surprised at all by these findings. And having been in Seoul on a bad day, I’d say it wasn’t as bad as the Kapiti Coast has been this week.
But it’s not just in South Korea. Studies in New Zealand discussing health effects and mental health effects of wood smoke pollution are also sorely needed.