U of T Engineering researchers search for toxins in the aftermath of Fort McMurray wildfire

This summer, postdoctoral researcher Lukas Kohl (ChemE) and undergraduate student Cynthia Jing (Year 2 EngSci) will be vacuuming strangers’ homes in northern Alberta. But they’re not necessarily there to clean — they are looking for evidence of long-term human health impacts arising from last summer’s devastating wildfire.

That fire, which raged through northern Alberta one year ago, is already estimated to be the most costly natural disaster in Canada’s history, destroying approximately 2,400 homes and forcing the evacuation of nearly 90,000 people. But according to Professor Arthur Chan (ChemE), the principal investigator on the project, the ash left behind by the fire can continue to affect people’s health long after the flames have gone out. Read full story.