Smoke and dust causing poor air quality

NSW Health is warning people to be aware of the health risks as smoke haze and dust storms cause poor air quality across parts of the state today.

A change in wind direction is likely to bring smoke from the southern NSW and ACT bushfires into eastern parts of Sydney, the Illawarra, and possibly the Central Coast and Newcastle this morning.

Dr Adi Vyas, NSW Health Medical Advisor said dust storms are also affecting western NSW and some of this dust may affect western Sydney.

“Air quality will be poor today so it’s important for people to take steps to minimise their exposure,” Dr Vyas said.

“People with chronic respiratory and cardiovascular conditions should avoid outdoor physical activity and those with asthma should also follow their Asthma Action Plan and carry their reliever medication with them.

“Minimising physical activity, staying indoors and knowing your treatment plan are important ways to reduce the risk of dust and smoke-related illness.”

Symptoms can occur for several days after dust and smoke is inhaled, so people with chronic conditions need to be vigilant with their treatment plan.

Existing heart and lung conditions can be aggravated and cause symptoms like irritated eyes and a cough.

“People with conditions including asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and heart disease should monitor their symptoms throughout the day,” Dr Vyas said.

“Ongoing heatwave conditions means that we all need to take extra care over the coming days.”

If symptoms do not settle, seek medical advice and in the case of an emergency always remember to dial triple zero.

For more information, visit the NSW Health air quality web page at: