Thoracic Research and Practice

Impact of Earthquakes on Lung Health


Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Düzce University School of Medicine, Düzce, Turkey


Koç University Research Center for Translational Medicine (KUTTAM), Koç University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Koç University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey

Thorac Res Pract 2024; 25: 89-98
DOI: 10.5152/ThoracResPract.2024.23059
Read: 698 Downloads: 940 Published: 07 March 2024

Earthquakes are catastrophic natural disasters that cause extensive damage to infrastructure and disrupt the lives of millions worldwide. Beyond the immediate physical and psychological damage caused by earthquakes, these events can significantly impact respiratory health. The inhalation of dust, smoke, particulates, toxic gases, and asbestos exposure can lead to various respiratory health pathologies. These include respiratory infections, exacerbations of pre-existing respiratory diseases, chest traumas, and pulmonary and venous thromboembolism. Longitudinal studies are necessary to assess the long-term respiratory health effects in affected populations. By addressing these knowledge gaps, future mitigation strategies and preparedness measures can be developed to minimize the respiratory health impacts of earthquakes and improve the well-being of affected communities. Robust building infrastructure and comprehensive earthquake preparedness are emerging as the most important determinants for not only mitigating building collapse but also significantly reducing the potential health impacts that follow. This comprehensive review aims to provide a systematic overview of the lung health impacts of earthquakes. It highlights the need for further research to identify specific pollutants, air contaminants, and environmental factors contributing to respiratory health issues following earthquakes.

Cite this article as: Güleç Balbay E, Kayalar Ö, Balbay Ö, Dikensoy Ö, Arbak P, Bayram H. Impact of earthquakes on lung health. Thorac Res Pract. 2024;25(2):89-98.

EISSN 2979-9139