CHO Update on Smoke from open cut fire

Latest from Chief Health Officer, Victoria, Australia

For full CHO website  details click here
See the Smoke and your health factsheet for more information.
For Smoke and your health – video, click here

Hazelwood open cut mine fire

Smoke from the Hazelwood open cut mine fire is continuing  to be monitored by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Smoke alerts are  issued when air quality levels exceed national standards and as air quality  changes constantly, these alerts will also be updated to reflect predicted  conditions.

Smoke is a mixture of different-sized particles. The  larger particles which are visible to the eye contribute to the visible haze  when a fire is burning. They are generally too large to be breathed deeply into  the lungs but can irritate the nose and throat.

Finer microscopic particles and gases are small enough to  be breathed deep into the lungs and can cause health effects. Children, the  elderly, pregnant women, smokers and people with pre-existing illnesses such as  heart or lung conditions (including asthma) are more sensitive to breathing in  fine particles.