Significant bushfires are burning across Victoria and impacting communities across the state.
Bushfire smoke can affect anyone but particularly people over 65, children 14 years and younger, pregnant women and those with existing heart or lung conditions, including asthma.
Hazardous air quality can lead to:
- serious aggravation of health effects in people over 65, children 14 years and younger, pregnant women and those with existing heart or lung conditions, and
- serious increase in respiratory and other effects in everyone else and many people might have symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath.
- Ordinary paper dust masks, handkerchiefs or bandannas do not filter out fine particles from bushfire smoke and are generally not very useful in protecting your lungs.
- ‘P2’or 'N95' masks filter bushfire smoke, providing greater protection against inhaling fine particles.
- Anyone with a pre-existing heart or lung condition should seek medical advice before using them.
- If the seal around the face and mouth is poor the mask is much less effective (men should be clean shaven to get a good seal). Masks are generally only effective for four hours or until they become moist.