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Poor air quality health alert

22 Nov 2018


NSW Health is urging people to take precaution and be aware of health risks associated with poor air quality as a result of a recent dust storm.

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Director of Public Health, Associate Professor Bradley Forssman, advised that small children, the elderly and people who have heart or lung disease including asthma are most susceptible to experiencing health effects from air pollution.

“Common symptoms are a cough, sore eyes, and shortness of breath, which can last for several days after exposure to dust,” says Associate Professor Forssman.

“If you have asthma or other lung problems, please make sure you have your reliever inhaler with you and follow your asthma or COPD Action Plan. If your symptoms don’t settle please go to your GP or the local emergency department.”

Associate Professor Forssman has suggested the following tips to avoid health risks associated with high levels of atmospheric dust in the air:

  • Close up your house and stay indoors.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise when air pollution levels are high.
  • If possible, stay in an air-conditioned building where filtration systems can help reduce dust particles in the air.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask designed to filter fine particles.
  • Seek medical attention if you experience shortness of breath or chest pain that doesn’t respond to rest or your usual treatment.

For more information about air pollution and health see: