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New website provides early warnings for Tasmanians with asthma

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Picture: John Hawkins of Forestry burn-off smoke over Chudleigh

Tasmanians with asthma will be better prepared to limit their exposure to smoke in the air, with the launch of a new early warning system today by the Department of Public Health and
the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania (AFT) joined Deputy Director of Public Health Dr Chrissie Pickin and Director of the EPA Alex Schaap to inspect the new online service before it goes live later today.

The new notification system is specifically targeted towards Tasmanians who are at greater risk of harm from wood smoke, with precautionary advice released when smoke levels are elevated for just one hour.

Asthma Foundation of Tasmania CEO Cathy Beswick said AFT was involved throughout the development of the new online system as part of its ongoing efforts to warn people in the community who are susceptible to health effects of smoke.

“Our work with Public Health and the EPA in developing the new air quality system is a huge component of our overall purpose to help those living with asthma to take the necessary precautions to protect their health,” Ms Beswick said.

“All Tasmanians should be wary to limit their exposure to smoke, but this is especially important for infants (under 1 year), people over 65 years of age and those with heart and lung conditions, including asthma.

“Smoke is a year-round issue and is generated from a wide range of sources, including wood heaters, incinerators, bushfires, back-burning, burn-offs and regeneration burns.

“Regardless of where smoke comes from, the issue is it’s in the air and it is a concern, as there is actually no safe level of smoke for people with asthma.”

Ms Beswick said it was fantastic to see the results of significant research and collaborative work between AFT, Public Health, the EPA and the University of Tasmania.

“We are proud to have been involved in such a worthwhile project and are delighted with the outcome, which will greatly assist those Tasmanians living with asthma to better protect their health during smoke incidents,” she said.

Yesterday on Tasmanian Times: Wood smoke linked to deaths as Forestry Tas plots 245 autumn burns

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. pilko

    February 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I wonder if this will be a pulp mill friendly website? Cough….cough..

  2. Clive Stott

    February 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    #6: That’s very clever tigerquoll, so true too.
    I especially like ‘the fowl of the air’; made me laugh.

  3. Clive Stott

    February 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I never claimed I was an air quality expert Robin #8.
    But thank you I will wear the title with pride coming from you.
    For the official certificate could you please make sure you spell my name correctly?

    Robin there is no need to burn. Prof. David Bowman has been telling you this just this week.
    Find other alternatives, try harder my friend.
    There are other alternatives out there; please move into the 21st century.

  4. Robin Halton

    February 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    #7 Clive Scott our local air quality expert!
    Enter the real world of wildfire which is currently being experienced at the Meadowbank fire in the Derwent Valley.
    The failure of past/recent FRB (Hazard reduction)to have been carried out is being currently felt at the firefront (today’s Mercury) The fire is uncontrolled and has the potential to spread (TFS Incident Report Info.)


    Editor’s note – comment edited – see points 1 & 2 of the TT code http://www.oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/pages/legalbits

  5. Clive Stott

    February 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Forestry have smoked people out for years now. In my opinion this is one thing they are good at; their 4R’s (http://cleanairtas.com/forestry.htm).

    I can see where tigerquoll #4 gets the term ‘scorched earth cult” from 🙂

    Now you tell me how, “Tasmanians with asthma will be better prepared to limit their exposure to smoke in the air, with the launch of a new early warning system today by the Department of Public Health and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA)”?
    Here is the link to that site if you can’t find it in their self marketing. http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/alerts/air

    DHHS want you to go into a library, supermarket, or gym wasn’t it? (Do these people work for Coles or Woolies?). What would you do in a gym while suffering smoke induced asthma? Jump on a treadmill?
    If you can’t do that then you could wear a respirator mask but it mightn’t be the right type and it mightn’t seal properly!

    The real-time air quality data on the new website has been around on the EPA’s website for sometime now. This is nothing new. It is even more detailed on the EPA website.

    This data is useful as history, to see how many times forestry got their smoke management wrong, but it hasn’t been, and won’t be, of much use to asthmatics while the smoke keeps coming.

    Gosh, no wonder we are having to prop up FT so much with their outdated and needless burning practices.

  6. Robin Halton

    February 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    #4 Tigerquoll Native forests self regenerate, yes with the aid a wildfire in nature.
    You would be familiar with some of the recorded bad fire years 1854, 1898, 1934, 1940 and 1967 when many of our regrowth forests emerged.
    In the late 50’s early ’60 high intensity regen. burning was introduced it is recorded and mapped as silvicultural regeneration, wildfire regeneration which was more extensive is also accounted for.
    You probably wont see many animals of a day by walking through a coupe that was burnt a couple years ago.
    Grab some of your mates take a battery pack and spot light walk around both the coupe edges and intearnal snig tracks and you should spot an abundance of mammals that come into the coupe under the cover of darkness from nearby to feed on the lush new shoots of young vegetation.
    Take a slab of beer with you and enjoy the experience observing the animals regaining their natural habitat.
    Contact the FPA, ask for the Fauna Specialist to obtain recorded data research and statistics. This research is well documented and is shared with PWS as there is a commom interest.

  7. Robin Halton

    February 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    #1 Absolute rubbish Jeremy Charlton, then how do we regenerate native forest post logging without removing the litter layer on the forest floor, virtually no wild life remains on these coupes prior to high intensity burning, wildlife retreats to adjoining forested areas.
    Wildlife begins to return to the coupe after one year once scrub cover and young eucalypts offer a food source for browsing mammals.
    Get your facts right first and stop misleading the public.

  8. Jeremy Charleton

    February 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    All of the mentioned dep’ts are run by Tas Gov’t and I don’t trust any of them to act for the people. They all make excuses why these choking burns by FT have to take place. Bushfires are a part of nature and if people build in the bush it is their lookout. What are commonly called ‘re-gen’ burns are not needed at all, it is just FTs way of getting rid of what they don’t want and stuff the rest of us. The wildlife suffer as do a lot of the people, but ‘short term’ greed is more important to the gov’t dep’ts and their friends and families within their circle of trough suckers. Anyone who dares to disagree with them is shot down in flames by their cronies.

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