Australians are worried about the health impacts of bushfire smoke and action is required!

Australians are worried about the health impacts of bushfire smoke and action is required? Says Maree Beare, CEO, Wanngi
A survey conducted over the last week indicates Australian people are worried about the health impacts of bushfire smoke?
Many people have been expressing concern about the long term health impacts. People not only involved in the fire areas, but people involved in daily life and sport and being surrounded by the bushfire smoke.

Maree’s daughter has been living in Melbourne and has recently expressed concern about the air quality as a result of bushfire smoke and recent dust storms. “I wore a white shirt in the morning and it was grey by the time I arrived at work”. Maree stated “When the fires were in Qld late last year I struggled with breathing when outside”. “I’m worried about the long term effects on our health and how people will be diagnosed?
In light of this, Wanngi launched a survey to understand how big a problem we have and how we have been impacted. We asked 1000 people ”Are you worried about the health impacts of bushfire smoke?” The results have not surprised!

Survey Results Bushfire smoke
And based on current research Australians have good reason to be worried about their future health and how to manage it.
A recent ABC interview with Norman Swan and Professor Francesca Dominici, a biostatistician and co-director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative discussed the details of a study on the health effects of fine particulate matter in the atmosphere which has shown that exposure to this material is associated with increased hospital admissions for a wider range of medical conditions than are usually blamed on pollution. These tiny particles come from car and truck exhausts, coal-fired power stations and bushfires.
In the interview Francesca states “Even though we don’t know yet all of the clinical pathways that could have led to this disease, we do know that inhalation of fine particulate matter penetrates deep into the lung and initiates a series of inflammation that could simultaneously affect multiple organs. We know how they affect the heart and we know how they affect the lungs. So it’s not too far by saying that is also how they are affecting our liver and how they could potentially compromise our immune response.”
So how can Wanngi Help? Wanngi enables people to track their symptoms and manage their own personal health record in one place and to be in control of with whom they share this information.
Even when these fires are over their effects will be felt far outside their regions. While the physical damage is immediately apparent, the effect on the mental and physical health of firefighters, volunteers and landholders who have faced walls of flames for days on end, is currently less clear.
Research on Bushfire smoke (Fine Particulate matter) indicates increased hospital admissions and ongoing chronic health conditions probably requiring repeated visits to doctors and specialists. People will find it helpful to have their symptoms and health history on hand when seeking diagnosis from health professionals.