/ 07 March 2024

Time to mask up again


There are new concerns about short-term exposure to air pollution, including bushfire smoke, dust and other pollutants, even when we inhale it for a few hours. A new report has found hundreds of Aussies die from incidental exposure every year, and it was especially bad during the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires, which are estimated to have caused 429 premature deaths. It’s the first time researchers have examined the impacts of short-lived episodes of air pollution as opposed to the effects of living in urban areas with persistently high levels – particularly from transport. That is front of mind for Melburnians who found out yesterday that Southern Cross Station has nitrogen dioxide levels that regularly exceed 90 times the limit recommended by the World Health Organization. And it’s not just Oz; over 10 million people in Thailand suffered from illnesses caused by pollution last year.

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