20 December 2013

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage have advised NSW Health that Sydney is predicted to experience poor air quality this evening due to high ozone levels.

Ozone pollution is caused by car exhaust and industrial fumes and gets worse on hot, still days.

Professor Wayne Smith, Director of Environmental Health Branch, NSW Health, reminds people to be alert to the link between high temperatures and ozone pollution.

Ozone levels are higher outdoors than indoors, so parents should limit the time their children with asthma play outside as they are more susceptible to the effects of ozone pollution.

“Ozone levels reach their peak around 7pm in the evening and tend to be lowest in the morning, so it’s best to plan outdoor play in the morning when the day is cooler” advised Professor Wayne Smith.

“Asthma sufferers need to follow their Asthma Action Plan and take their relieving medication where necessary. If symptoms get worse, asthma sufferers need to seek medical advice”.

Ozone can also irritate the lungs of healthy adults, so it is best to avoid any prolonged outdoor exercise.

People can have air quality alerts sent to them via SMS or email by visiting the Office of Environment and Heritage website and subscribing to Air Quality Index daily forecasts.

For more information on local air quality forecast and hourly air quality updates, visit the Office of Environment and Heritage website:
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/index.htm

For more information about air pollution and health, visit the NSW Health website: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/air/Pages/default.aspx