Lung health warning as Perth faces smoke haze
As smoke haze continues to affect parts of Perth and surrounding areas, the Institute for Respiratory Health is urging vulnerable residents to be aware of the risks to their health and to protect themselves.
The Institute’s director, Professor Geoff Stewart, said smoke from prescribed burning contains a large number of contaminants, including toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, which can penetrate deep into the lungs.
“Smoke can trigger pre-existing health issues and those with chronic respiratory conditions need to be vigilant with their treatment programs.
“Finer particles can penetrate deep into the lung and can be a serious health risk particularly to those who have existing lung conditions, children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with heart disease.”
Symptoms related to smoke exposure include: coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, chest pains, sneezing, runny nose and allergic symptoms.
Professor Stewart said those who are impacted by smoke haze from the fires should reduce their exposure as much as possible. And those with chronic respiratory conditions need to be vigilant with their treatment programs.
He also advises to:
- Stay indoors and shut windows and doors.
- Limit outdoors exercise, or avoid it completely. Especially if you can smell smoke or notice eye or throat irritation.
- Keep hydrated drinking plenty of water.
“Anyone with an urgent smoke-related health condition should seek medical attention by calling 000 or contacting their doctor straight away,” said Professor Stewart.