When there's smoke in the air, should we care?

You may not have realised that during bushfire season, air quality is significantly affected due to the production of smoke. Short-term, this can have negative consequences for sensitive individuals (i.e. asthma sufferers, younger children and older people). However, prolonged exposure to air pollution in pregnancy is also linked to increased rates of pre-term birth, decreased birth weight, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and gestational diabetes (1). 

The best way to reduce your risk of breathing polluted air is by limiting your exposure. Our advice is to stay indoors as much as possible with your air conditioning on re-cycle. Avoid exercising outdoors during this time and if you must go outside, it is advisable to use a P2 facemask.

Below is further information from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to help you avoid the health related risks associated poor air quality: https://ama.com.au/sites/default/files/documents/030120%20-%20AMA%20Warns%20of%20New%20Health%20Threats%20from%20Ongoing%20Bushfire%20Crisis.pdf

If you can see or smell smoke then there is a significant amount of air pollution, but if you wish to monitor the air quality in your area more closely, please visit: https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/data_and_publications/air_quality_monitoring

Flinders Fertility’s move to our new Glenelg facility has meant that we were able to install state-of the-art embryology laboratory filtration systems to ensure the laboratory has good air quality at all times. This bushfire season we are also constantly monitoring the air quality in the laboratory and in theatre to ensure that we maintain safe culture conditions.  

References:
1.    https://ranzcog.edu.au/news/statement-on-prolonged-exposure-to-bushfire-smoke

Image courtesy of www.abc.net.au

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