Environmental health during and after bushfires

Bushfires can cause many environmental health concerns beyond the immediate damage caused by fire. Find out more about smoke hazard, water quality and asbestos risk in fire affected buildings.

Health effects of exposure to bushfire smoke

The Chief Medical Officer and State and Territory Chief Health Officers have provided guidance on the health effects of exposure to bushfire smoke.

The guidance includes information about:

  • the health effects of short-term exposure to bushfire smoke
  • what to do if you are experiencing health problems due to bushfire smoke
  • how to reduce your risk of exposure to bushfire smoke
  • how to minimise your exposure during prolonged bushfire smoke events
  • how to keep active during prolonged bushfire smoke events
  • the use of air purifiers to reduce PM2.5 particles
  • the use of P2 masks
  • where you can get information on the air quality in your area

The Australian National University's Research School of Population Health has also produced fact sheets about how to protect yourself from bushfire smoke.

Asbestos

Asbestos is one of the hazardous materials that may be present after a fire. Read how you can reduce your risk of exposure following a fire.

Water quality

Bushfires can affect water quality to varying degrees. Learn about this and what you can do to protect yourself.

Last updated: 
30 January 2020

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