Dust from SA is blanketing the region.
Dust from SA is blanketing the region. Alison Paterson

Dust, smoke sparks health warning for Northern Rivers

UPDATE, 4pm: NORTH Coast Public Health Unit is urging people with respiratory conditions to take caution, with high air pollution levels in some areas as a result of high winds transporting dust and smoke.

Assistant Director of North Coast Public Health, Greg Bell, said children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions were most susceptible to the effects of air pollution and excessive smoke.

"Dust and smoke may aggravate existing heart and lung conditions and cause irritated eyes, coughing and wheezing," Mr Bell said.

"If you have asthma you should follow your Asthma Action Plan and take your relieving medication where necessary, and if symptoms get worse, seek medical advice.

"When it is particularly dusty or smoky, stay indoors with doors and windows closed and follow your health plan.

"To minimise any negative effects from air pollution, people should also consider avoiding vigorous exercise and seek out air-conditioned premises".


UPDATE 11.15am: DUST hanging in the air over the Northern Rivers is blowing in from South Australia, according the the Bureau of Meteorology.

The NSW Health website says the most common symptoms experienced during a dust storm are irritation to the eyes and upper airways.

People who may be more vulnerable than others are: infants, children and adolescents, the elderly. people with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, people with heart disease and people with diabetes.

• NSW Health recommends that during periods of dusty conditions anyone with the above health concerns should:
• Avoid outdoor activity or if you must, wear a face mask.
• Stay indoors, with windows and doors closed and in an air-conditioned premises, if possible.
• Avoid vigorous exercise, especially if you have asthma, diabetes or a breathing-related condition.
• If you are an asthmatic or have a respiratory condition and you develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, or chest pain, follow your prescribed treatment plan.
• If symptoms do not settle, seek medical advice.


Original story: DON'T hang out those white sheets and tablecloths until the winds whipping dust from two states away decides to settle.

This is the advice after the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed the dusty air on the Northern Rivers has blown over from South Australia.

Duty forecaster Alex Majchrowski said this is all due to the south-westerly winds sweeping across New South Wales.

"The dust was picked up from South Australia and come across on some pretty strong south-westerly winds," he said.

"We had a weather warning issued about it yesterday for the south of the state and today it should start to ease off by this afternoon.

"But the chance of picking up more dust near the SA border is possible."

So maybe hold off that white wash until the weekend.

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