Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is urging the public to take precaution following current poor air quality as a result of bushfires.
Fires in the Blue Mountains, Blacktown and The Hills areas are causing smoke pollution in western Sydney which is being dispersed by strong winds.
It is expected that the current smoke levels could persist over coming days.
Small children, the elderly and people with heart or lung disease including asthma, are most susceptible to experiencing health effects from air pollution.
“Common health effects include a cough, sore eyes, and shortness of breath, which can last for several days after smoke is inhaled,” WSLHD Public Health Unit director Dr Stephen Corbett said.
“If you have asthma or other lung problems, please make sure you have your reliever inhaler with you. Follow your Asthma or COPD Action Plan, but if your symptoms don’t settle please go to your GP or the local Emergency Department,” he said.
Dr Corbett has suggested keeping the following tips in mind if there are high levels of smoke in the air:
*Try to close up your house and stay indoors
*Avoid vigorous exercise outside when air pollution levels are high If possible, stay in an air-conditioned building
*Cover your mouth and nose with a mask designed to filter fine particles.
*A P2-rated mask can be purchased from hardware stores, but remember, a mask will only be effective if worn correctly S
*eek medical attention if you experience shortness of breath or chest pain that doesn’t respond to rest or your usual treatment
For information on local air quality forecasts and hourly air quality updates, visit the Office of Environment and Heritage website at:
For information about air pollution and health information, please visit the NSW Health website at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/emergency_preparedness/weather/Pages/Bushfire.aspx
For more information about bushfires and bushfire preparedness, please visit the NSW Rural Fire Service at: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/
For information about road closures please visit the Live Traffic NSW website at http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au/desktop.htm