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Effects Of Bushfire Smoke On Health Essay

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Catastrophic bushfires that consumed over 40 000 hectares raged across Tasmania during January 2013 (Tasmanian Bushfire Recovery Taskforce 2013, p.1). In addition to the immediate threat caused by fires, smoke haze blanketing areas of the state from January 6th resulted in continuing air quality warnings until February 10th causing increased short term health concerns for the community (Tasmanian Government 2013). It is too soon to see the effects of long term exposure to bushfire smoke in this example but if the experience of other incidents is repeated, a range of negative health effects such as an increased incidence of cardiovascular, respiratory and stress disorders are to be anticipated (Johnston 2009, p.722).

Within the Tasmanian bushfire affected areas were 415 homes and other buildings, farms, grassland and eucalypt forest (Tasmanian Bushfire Recovery Taskforce 2013, p.3). The predominant source of fuel for the fires was eucalypt forest and grasses which produced smoke and haze across areas of the state that was measured on 23 days out of 31 for the month of January (Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology 2013). Australian bushfire smoke contains ...

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