"Tasmania’s usually pristine air is clouded with bushfire smoke", write DEA doctors Anna Johnston and Zoe Ling. Doctors around the state are treating significant health problems exacerbated by toxic bushfire fumes – asthma, heart attacks, strokes, premature births and poor diabetes control. Current government policies are woefully inadequate in limiting warming. The situation will only get worse without effective action.
In Hobart, fine particle pollution (PM2.5) is almost 40 times the WHO recommendations, and at 377ppm, higher than the world's most polluted cities. Options to avoid the smoke are limited - relocation, remaining indoors with the windows closed, expensive air cleaners - and the elderly, small children and those with chronic health conditions are particularly at risk.
With frequent news of record-breaking weather and climate chaos around Australian this summer, we must act immediately and effectively to reduce emissions and build resilience in the health system to manage the health impacts.
Link to article (Paywalled). Talking Point: Keeping out of harm's way | The Mercury Published on Feb 5th 2019.