Smoke, air quality and health

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Bushfire and weather conditions in Tasmania over the coming weeks will result in periods of smoky conditions.

Elderly persons, smokers, and people with chronic medical conditions (especially lung and heart conditions) are more sensitive to the effects of smoke. So are pregnant women, infants and children.

It is important for persons at risk from smoke to have a management plan for exacerbations of their medical condition such as asthma, and for them to know when to use their plan.

The following is the key public health advice about managing smoky conditions:

  • Avoid physical activity outdoors when it is smoky.

  • Stay indoors with windows and doors closed where possible.

  • If using an air conditioner, switch it to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’.

  • People living at home may consider visiting family or friends, or the library or shopping centre, if their home gets too hot for comfort or a lot of smoke from the outside gets in.

  • If there is a break in smoky conditions, opening the windows helps air out a home.

  • Get medical help if you have symptoms such as breathing difficulties or chest pain.

  • Real-time air quality information for your area on the EPA BLANkET website, or by downloading the AirRater app and subscribing to alerts.

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