Air quality warning for those at risk

Fire smoke

Public health authorities yesterday (7 February 2013) advised people with lung or heart conditions to take precautions while the smoke haze from the Molesworth bushfire hangs over parts of southern Tasmania.

State Manager Environmental Health Services Stuart Heggie said the smoke is predicted to affect the greater Hobart area because of the prevailing wind direction.

Other Tasmanian fires may result in smoke posing a risk to people elsewhere in the state.

"There is a possibility that smoke levels may cause symptoms in some people - particles in the smoke may worsen symptoms of conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and heart disease," Mr Heggie said.

"People with these conditions should protect their health by avoiding breathing smoky air while the smoke haze persists.

"Those most at risk from smoke are infants, people over 65 years and those with lung or heart conditions."

Mr Heggie said people with lung or heart conditions should:

·                     avoid physical activity outdoors

·                     stay indoors and close windows and doors, unless it becomes too hot indoors

·                     switch air conditioners to 'recycle' or 'recirculate', if possible

·                     take their regular medication, including asthma 'preventers'.

For more information about smoke levels in your area visit the Department of Health and Human Services smoke alert monitoring system at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/alerts/air

Current information about bushfires is available at http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/

For bushfire crisis and emergency help information visit www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/emergency_info

8 February 2013