Bushfire smoke toxicity rivals urban air pollution: survey

BUSHFIRE smoke is at least as toxic as urban air pollution and increases the risk of respiratory morbidity, Australian research suggests.

Analysis of 27 Australian and international studies investigating the health impact of bushfire seasons found tiny particulate matter (PM10) from bushfire smoke moderately increased the number of hospital presentations for respiratory diseases, including asthma, compared with non-bushfire periods.

One Australian study revealed an increase in hospital admissions for respiratory problems of 1.2% for each 10 µg/m3 increase in PM10 from bushfire smoke.