Health alert issued over air pollution concerns

PEOPLE with heart and respiratory conditions are being urged by the North Coast Public Health Unit to be careful as recent bush fires are causing high pollution.

Communities around Grafton may be particularly affected in the coming days, and Public Health North Coast assistant director Greg Bell said children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions are most susceptible to air pollution and excessive smoke.

"If you have asthma you should follow your Asthma Action Plan and take your relieving medication where necessary and if symptoms get worse, seek medical advice," Mr Bell said.

"Smoke may aggravate existing heart and lung conditions and cause irritated eyes, coughing and wheezing.

"Stay indoors, close windows and follow your health plan.

"To minimise any effects of smoke or air pollution, people should also consider avoiding vigorous exercise, seeking out air-conditioned premises and even consider moving away from the direct path of smoke whilst fires are still active."

In case of emergency dial triple-0.

Information about bushfire smoke and health: au/environment/factsheets/Pages/bushfire-smoke.aspx