Air pollution alert: Sydney

Richard Laycock 11 January 2017

Sydney skyline and harbour on a smoggy day

NSW Health air quality warning to Sydneysiders as temperature rise.

NSW Health warns that high pollution levels could pose a serious health risk to those who suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma. The warning comes after the NSW office of Environment and Heritage informed NSW Health that Sydney is to be hit with high ozone levels.

Dr Ben Scalley, director of the Environmental Health Branch at NSW Health said: "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."

The still weather, coupled with the heat and fumes from car exhausts are being blamed for the heightened ozone levels. Western Sydney is the area most affected by the air pollution, where temperatures are expected to reach 37oC.

Parents are being urged to keep their kids indoors, as ozone levels are much lower inside.

“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," Scalley said.

The NSW Health warning comes just over a month following the tragic events in Melbourne, where eight people died and roughly 8,500 people sought medical attention after freak temperatures caused a thunderstorm that made conditions dangerous for asthma sufferers.

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