17/11/2008: On the new website there is not even an air quality program.
19/7/2009 UPDATE: - Environmental smoke does not get a mention any longer.
And to this:
23/2/2012: A new DHHS-PEH website is launched called 'Wood smoke, air quality, your health.'
Public and Environmental Health believe (like Forestry) that if they advise people on the internet then they have met their responsibilities.
No they have not. They cannot make the general population responsible for something like toxic air that is harmful and out of the public's control.
DHHS is responsible for our environmental health. They cannot just palm this off onto the population by saying when your home is letting in smoky air from the outside, take a break by going to a friend’s place, the local library, shopping centre, or sports centre!
In the past air pollution was considered an outdoor problem.
Our P&HS fails to recognise the following:
"Potentially, indoor air pollutants can greatly exceed outdoor levels. It is important that people with asthma consider this when they seek to use their homes or other buildings as refuges from the effects of outdoor pollution." http://www.nationalasthma.org.au/health-professionals/information-papers/asthma-air-pollution-asthma-series-paper-4-/indoor-air-pollutants
Forestry comes before Health in Tasmania!
"Surely no child should have to breathe air that could kill them".
This is what the updated version said following discussions with PEHS in July 2008.
"Action should be taken by others where possible to minimise exposure of the public to smoke. "
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “there is no safe level of fine particle pollution.”
If your doctor asks you, "have you ever smoked?", answer "yes".
You have smoked forestry smoke.
Cigarettes smoke is burning vegetation. Forestry smoke is burning vegetation
"Our role is to monitor the health of the Tasmanian population, and put in place programs to protect or promote health."
"We do not have any regulatory role in relation to environmental smoke."
Public and Environmental Health is another agency that does not have any regulatory control over environmental smoke from planned burns.
Government's Role in Protecting Health and Safety
"Government has a responsibility to implement effective public health measures that increase the information available to the public and decision makers, protect people from harm, promote health, and create environments that support healthy behaviors. The health, financial, and productivity gains from public health actions benefit individuals and society as a whole." - Dr. Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. New England Journal of Medicine
DHHS - Organisational chart - July 2012; see where PEH fits in.
In 2008 this was the Tasmania Health Department's Answer to our deliberate forestry smoke problem.
No wonder the following document was never headed or signed.
What P&EH don't tell you is, that unless the building is fitted with ABSOLUTE FILTERS (HEPA FILTERS) you are breathing the same smoky air as outside, and possibly 3-5 times worse anyway. Buildings are rarely fitted with absolutes, and they are almost never fitted to homes.
Burning is an option, breathing is not.
Public and Environmental Health Service
Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
13.2.2014 - Right to Information Decision:
Go here to find the number of air pollution, and particulate matter, susceptible people in Tasmania.
Also, being told to remain indoors only gives short-time protection from smoke. Maybe not even that depending on the building construction.
More than 3,000 Australians die every year from air-pollution-related illness; nearly twice the national road toll. - 10.Nov.2014 report by Places You Love alliance.
The US EPA has calculated that the ratio of healthcare cost savings to the costs of compliance with the Clean Air Act was 25:1 in 2010. This means that for every dollar spent complying with the Clean Air Act, twenty-five dollars were saved in healthcare costs due to lower disease burden, including a reduction in premature deaths, and reduction is cases of bronchitis, asthma, and myocardial infarction. - US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation. The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act: 1990-2020. Washington DC: EPA, 2010
Now known as DHHS Public Health Services
Changed from Public and Environmental Health
Health and sense-t
Click on the above picture to read about research happening in Tasmania.
Cleanairtas feels any research must firstly aim to reduce deliberate air pollution at the source.
Research must not be used to have susceptible groups locked away or put on more medication whilst harmful emissions continue.
Cleanairtas maintains it is not up to the population to have to dodge or suffer pernicious pollution caused by others, as has been suggested on this Health page and by Asthma Foundation Tasmania
When it comes to deliberate wood smoke we need to target the pollution, not try and devise individual/personal health plans and put people on medicines.....so the pollution can continue.
I hope this is where we are headed?
Asthma sufferers to get air alert - smartphone app launched October 28,2015
Fire, smoke, climate change. Listen to Dr Fay Johnston on ABC Radio National - 6/2/2016