Public Health Advice for people affected by the fire at Richard Pearce Drive, Mangere

3 September 2020

Questions and answers on smoke inhalation 

I live or work nearby, is there anything I can do?
If you live or work in the area of the smoke plume, you should stay inside, while the fire is burning or if you are experiencing discomfort from the smoke.

Please keep out of the smoke as much as possible. Please stay inside with windows closed and air-conditioning off. Talk to your building owner or business owner if you don’t control your air-conditioning.

If you are living in the area and you need to go outside, try to keep away from the smoke. This means staying well out of the plume and avoiding the smoke, if possible.

Should I be wearing a mask or a scarf?
Covering your mouth and nose will stop the larger particles, but won’t keep out the fine particles of air pollution. Keep out of the smoke if you can.

I need to go outside – is there anything I can do?
Please stay out of areas where there is smoke.

How dangerous is the smoke to my health?
Air pollution caused by smoke can be dangerous to health over time, depending on your length and level of exposure. Low dose, short term exposures, however, are unlikely to be harmful.
If exposure to the smoke causes shortness of breath, wheezing, triggering of asthma symptoms or chest pain please see your doctor immediately or go to an Emergency Department.
In healthy people, most symptoms disappear soon after exposure to smoke ends and cause no long term health problems.

Will breathing in this smoke have a long term impact on my health?
Short term exposures are unlikely to have harmful long term effects.

Who is most at risk of ill health from the smoke?
Babies and younger children, older people, those with respiratory or heart conditions, pregnant women and those who smoke are most at risk from smoke inhalation, and should avoid exposure.

I run a school or early learning service, what should I do?
If your school or service is in the smoke plume, you should not be operating. If you are in the area, please keep children inside, and wipe down play equipment exposed to smoke.

What’s in the smoke that I should worry about?
Our advice is that people should avoid breathing this smoke if possible. We know that smoke contains fine particulate matter and other pollutants that can have harmful health effects.

For health advice please phone Healthline 0800 611 116

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
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