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Bushfire smoke

Impact of bushfire smoke on health

Bushfire smoke is comprised of gases, water vapour and small particles and can cause a range of health problems, particularly for people with asthma or lung conditions.

Common complaints include an irritated throat, burning or itchy eyes, a runny nose or bronchitis.

To minimise the impact of bushfire smoke, NSW Health recommends people stay indoors and avoid rigorous exercise if possible. If symptoms don't improve, you should seek medical advice. 

Protective masks

Due to the ultra-fine particles found in smoke, many masks have limited effectiveness. 

However, there is an Australian standard to assist consumers trying to decide which mask to use. AS/NZS 1716:2012 P2 disposable respirators are recommended when fitted and maintained properly. This standard of mask can also help to provide protection against many other air-borne pollutant risks and infections.

Many hardware store outlets supply these.

More information

For more information, visit the Bushfire Smoke page on the NSW Health website. To view the current and forecast air quality readings, visit the Air Quality Index page on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website. 

 

Last updated on 11 December 2019