Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Could planned burns be a danger to your health?

Following the tragic events of Black Saturday, and increasingly long and severe summers in Australia, a much greater emphasis has been placed on fuel reduction or “back burning” operations. But could the increased smoke levels be a danger to resident’s long term health?

David O’Keefe of the DEPM will be conducting a study aimed at determining the implications and potential impacts of back burning on regional Victorians. 

From February, the study will aim to measure exposure to smoke, both indoors and outdoors, and any potential influences on lung function, heart and blood vessels.  The data will be collected by health questionnaires as well as heart and lung function, blood pressure and blood tests.
The study which will be based in Gippsland, will allow the potential risks from planned burns to be compared to the risks from severe bushfires which will in turn help with protecting community health as well as improving medical advice.

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