What is going on? Funding Deals?
Why won't Asthma Foundation Tasmania stand up for asthmatics and lobby to bring about an immediate end to forestry smoke that has been affecting the health of so many Tasmanians for so long now?
Forestry have been burning since 1960. This is 50 years +.
Environmental smoke can set off an allergic reaction (response) - continued exposure to a substance can lead to an allergy to it. The body itself sees that substance as a threat, the immune system reacts and attacks it because it carries toxins. When somebody eventually becomes allergic to smoke after continuous exposure to it, it is known as sensitization. Symptoms will appear when the individual's immune system starts producing antibodies to attack the substance - histamine is also produced, which causes inflammation.
Irritant-induced asthma - environmental smoke may cause a direct irritation in the lungs after exposure. This is not an allergic reaction - the condition is called reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS). The bronchial tubes are sensitive to the irritants. Environmental smoke is known to cause RADS.
Severe asthma greatly enhances the risk of pulmonary embolism, particularly if chronic corticosteroids are used.
Asthmatics are quite often prescribed corticosteriods to help manage their condition.
They can't win. http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2012/12/19/09031936.00150312.abstract
"Severe asthma greatly enhances the risk of pulmonary embolism, particularly if chronic corticosteroids are used."- European Respiratory Journal
"Patients with severe, uncontrolled asthma have very few treatment options once they are already taking high-dose inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists." - Prof. Eugene Bleecker
12.06.2008 - Forestry smoke feeds Asthma Foundation Children suffer.
26.11.2008 - Forestry Tasmania suggests I invest in an air purifier device (so they can keep making smoke).
This is what the American Lung Association has to say...
ozone production: Some air cleaners (called ozone generators) use an electrical charge to generate ozone. Although ozone (also referred to as trivalent oxygen or saturated oxygen) is a necessary part of the upper atmosphere (10-30 miles above us), in the part of the atmosphere we breathe, ozone is a potent lung irritant. It can have damaging health effects, especially for persons with asthma and other lung diseases, children and the elderly. It is produced directly by ozone generators and indirectly by ion generators and some other electronic air cleaners. The FDA has set a limit of 0.05 parts per million of ozone in indoor air. Ask whether any electronic air cleaner you are considering buying has been tested for ozone production. The American Lung Association suggests that ozone generators not be used.
27.11.2008 - Emails to, and replies from, Asthma Foundation Tasmania Still not standing up for asthmatics in Tasmania.
20.01.2009 - Media release from Asthma Foundation of Tasmania
29.01.2009 - E-mail to Asthma Foundation - seeking clarification.
13.02.2009 - Response from AFT
06.11.2010 - American Lung Association - Public Policy Position
Chronic Obstructive Pulminary Disease
Smoke of any kind irritates and enflames the lungs resulting in scarring and damage to the elaciticy of the lungs causing narrowing and difficulty breathing.
Every COPD attack causes the disease to worsen.
Recent research shows that up to 1 in 6 people over 45 have COPD5 affecting over 1 million Australians
COPD is the fifth biggest killer of Australians6
COPD is the 3rd leading cause of human and economic burden of disease (following coronary heart disease and stroke).
Disability of COPD is viewed as similar to paraplegia and AIDS.
The estimated direct and indirect costs of COPD are $800-900million annually.8
COPD goes largely unrecognised and under-diagnosed. Less than 25% of the study participants who were found to have COPD had been diagnosed by a doctor.
While COPD has long been considered a smoker’s diseases, 30 per cent of cases have never smoked. Woolcock Inst. of Medical Research
5. Abramson MJ. Respiratory symptoms and lung function in older people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. MJA 4 July 2005; 183(1):S23-S25
6. AIHW. Chronic Diseases Mortality.
Found at: http://aihw.gov.au/cdarf/data_pages/mortality/index.cfm
7. Mathers C, Vos T, Stephenson C. 1999 The Burden of Disease and Injury in Australia. ISBN 1-74024-019-7. AIHW Cat. No. PHE-17
8. Crockett AJ, Cranston JM, Moss JR. Economic Case Statement. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Australian Lung Foundation, Sept 2002
COPD may worsen with allergies
COPD not just a smokers disease
Go here to read more COPD studies.
Rise in asthma death rates
MICHELLE PAINE | April 05, 2012 12.01am
ASTHMA death rates have shot up in Tasmania against the national trend, sparking alarm among experts.
It comes as deaths of children under 15 have also doubled nationally in just four years.
The fall in deaths has not occurred in Tasmania.
In 2010 there were 17 asthma deaths, compared with 10 in 2006.
National Asthma Council of Australia
Shirley Brandie questioned why wood smoke had not been mentioned on the NAC website.
Shirley made mention of the fact that wood smoke is a far more prevalent and unavoidable source of pollutants than cigarettes are.
The National Asthma Council CEO (Kristine Whorlow) responded in the folowing way:
From: Kristine Whorlow
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 1:02 AM
Subject: FW: Asthma
Dear Ms Brandie
I am sorry to have taken so long to reply to your email and have had a quick look at your website. Tobacco smoke is a worse problem in Australia than wood smoke. In summer, we and other organisations issue warnings about the effect of smoke from bushfires, or before summer burn-offs if either occur. In winter, in most areas which get cold enough to need heating that is not the preferred heating. There are some areas which do use wood fires in winter and we are sometimes made aware that this causes problems for people with respiratory problems. We have asked a sister organisation in one such area to develop a position paper. Our winters are relatively short and not as severe as those of North America.
Until recently, we had information on outdoor pollution on our website but had to withdraw this as it was out of date and rarely visited or requested, strangely enough. We plan, in time to update and republish information on this topic.
Chief Executive Officer
National Asthma Council Australia
153-161 Park Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
American Lung Association
POLICY PRINCIPLE ON HEALTHY AIR - June 23, 2012
All people are entitled to breathe healthy air and to be free of the adverse health effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution. The American Lung Association strongly supports safe, healthful air for all.
Environmental policies must protect the public against acute and chronic adverse health effects. The American Lung Association is especially concerned about the effects of air pollution on the health of vulnerable populations, including people with lung diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the elderly and children. All available strategies, including public education and outreach, research, legislation, regulation and litigation, should be employed as necessary to protect the public health.
Asthma is a common lung disease that makes breathing difficult for millions of Americans, both young and old. In 2011, it was estimated that 25.9 million Americans currently had asthma, including 7.1 million children. Asthma is the cause of nearly 11 million ambulatory physician encounters and 440,000 hospitalizations annually - ALA 8/2013
Asthma, COPD, Cancer, & RADS
Smoke is a trigger - the airways narrow.
Tasmania has the highest incidence of asthma in Australia (Asthma Foundation), and 3 out of 4 people have a chronic health condition like cancer, cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disease, asthma and diabetes, that prevents them form working. (Damien Brown-Mercury 2/12/2009). All these diseases have been linked in world wide studies to particulate matter (PM).
3 out of four Tasmanians have a chronic health condition.
Children are particularly vulnerable to wood smoke, because their respiratory systems are still developing, and because they have higher rates of activity and inhale more air. - Health Canada. According to the American Lung Association, girls' lungs don't reach their full size until they're in their late teens, and boys' lungs continue growing past age 20.
In children, asthma is the most common reason for trips to the emergency department and unplanned hospital stays. It is almost one of the most common reasons for taking a child to the local doctor.
Asthma is a long term inflammatory condition of the airways.- National Asthma Council -Australia
Asthma Foundation Tasmania acknowledge this state has the highest rate of Asthma in Australia and that now 1 in 7 children are diagnosed with the disease.
If you notice you or your child suffers any of the symptoms below during the forestry burn season seek medical attention promptly and make sure it is entered in your history that you believe the symptoms are caused by forestry smoke:
Wheezing, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Chest tightness, pain or pressure, Chest infections, Ear infections, Runny nose, Blocked, stuffy nose, Eye irritation, Unable to do tasks that you would normally be able to do, Feeling unwell, Raspy voice.
I previously supported Asthma Foundation Tasmania but have withdrawn my support until they come out and lobby to bring about an immediate end to needless forestry smoke. You can do the same by redirecting your support to keep this website running.
I do not believe our Public Health Department (DHHS) should direct people to the Asthma Foundation when the Asthma Foundation will not lobby to stop this smoke on behalf of it's members.
I do not believe the Asthma Foundation should be providing advice to the government when they will not lobby to stop this smoke on behalf of it's members.
HEALTH ALERT - Deliberate forestry smoke and asthma/COPD drugs do not mix.
Monitoring the Impact of Air Pollution on Asthma in Australia - 2010 - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Dr. Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas, an environmental toxicology professor at the University of Montana, has studied children living in highly polluted areas. She found inflammation of the brain, similar to the process involved in developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The children also exhibited cognitive deficits and structural brain abnormalities and had respiratory and cardiovascular damage.
The National Asthma Council is a collaboration of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Asthma Australia and the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.
What a diappointing response from the National Asthma Council CEO.
Asthma bodies in Australia are fixated on cigarette smoke when whole states are being asphixiated by wood smoke. (Read further up the page where the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania will not lobby for it's members).
It seems NAC does not know what is happening in Launceston and Armadale. Or do they?
Smoke from summer burn-offs? Do we have summer burn-offs? I thought we had fire bans in our hot summers.
We are sometimes made aware wood fires cause problems for people with respiratory problems? Of course wood fires cause health problems and not only for people with respiratory disease. It is in the news world wide almost daily.
Winters are relatively short? In Tasmania heating is required for about 6 months of the year.
Our website had out of date information and it was rarely visted? Perhaps this was the reason?
Strangely enough, the NAC rarely responds to cleanairtas emails.
Just like the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania, is this collaboration of bodies really interested in stopping asthma from wood smoke? I feel they are not because it would seem their members all stand to profit from people with asthma. Sad isn't it?
But then again it is up to individual members who know the truth to speak out in support of the patients and not toe the Council's line.
Read below what AFT said:
27.04.2008 - Mercury Asthma Group bites tongue
Balance Sheet ending 2007 Asthma Foundation Tasmania. Given a State government grant. Forestry Tasmania is State owned.
The Asthma Foundation Tasmania uses public relations consultants Beyond PR, Davey Street, Hobart.
Premier's Christmas coctail party - http://www.davidbartlett.com.au/diary/event.2005-11-18.0888792591
28.04.2008 - Letter to Asthma Foundation Tasmania
Tasmanian Times Asthma Foundation and Premier and to the link The Burning of Tasmania
06.05.2008 - Reply from Asthma Foundation Tasmania
06.05.2008 - Letter to Asthma Foundation Tasmania
18.05.2008 - e-mail from Asthma Foundation CEO No deal
25.05.2008 - Sunday Tasmanian AFT still won't support a ban on forestry smoke for asthmatics. Why not??
26.05.2008 & 2.6.2008 e-mail to President of Asthma Foundation
05.06.2008 - email from President Asthma Foundation. Note: People with asthma are not party to these 'secret' discussions.
Just Government bodies, or Government funded bodies. Hmmmm...
It can be seen the Asthma Foundation Tasmania is at odds with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The WHO claims, “there is no safe level of fine particle pollution.”
The WHO now states air pollution is carcinogenic and PM causes lung cancer.
Sadly, it seems our Asthma Foundation has a different agenda for asthmatics in Tasmania.
Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.
Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.
- Martin Luther King Jr., civil-rights leader, 1929-1968
1/4/2014 - Asthma sufferers on alert as forestry burns begin.
Click on the photo to read the Herald Sun story
Again I feel Asthma Foundation Tasmania is right in with the burners.
They sure are not standing up for their members and condeming this outdated harmful practice.
Joe Hockey's cigar smoking criticised by health expert
Click on the photo below to read the story
16/5/2014: Cancer Council Australia - No reply from them. Follow up email sent today.
19/5/2014: Reply form CCA - "...we are currently reviewing your comments and the current evidence.
We will advise you once it has been updated."
7/8/2014 : Cancer Council Australia still refuses to acknowledge on their website what CAUSES cancer!
4/11/2014: "The updates on air pollution have been reviewed and we have published this afternoon on the website.
Local atmospheric pollution from point sources of industrial emissions:
General outdoor air pollution:
The information is based on the IARC evaluations, as summarised and presented by our carcinogens expert, who is a contributor to the IARC monograph evaluation process."
Outdoor Particulate Matter Exposure and Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Background: Particulate matter (PM) in outdoor air pollution was recently designated a Group I carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This determination was based on the evidence regarding the relationship of PM2.5 and PM10 to lung cancer risk; however, the IARC evaluation did not include a quantitative summary of the evidence.
Conclusion: The results of these analyses, and the decision of the IARC working group to classify PM and outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic (Group 1), further justify efforts to reduce exposures to air pollutants that can arise from many sources.
Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome
RADS generally happens after a ONE TIME exposure to a concentrated chemical, fumes, smoke etc.
The damage to your airways and lungs can be done in seconds!
RADS can mimic asthma.
For some, traditional asthma medications do not work or can make breathing worse.
Further information can be found here and here.
23/10/2015 - Julie Bishop Australian Foreign Minister sucks up toxic smoke in Sumatra.
Can this be good for her health? Not so according to almost every respiratory specialist!
Haze from illegal land-clearing burns was so bad that many locals were wearing face masks on the street.
24/11/2015 - Asthma costs Australia almost $28b every year
"This report quantifies how asthma impacts more widely; on the community
and throughout the lives of people with asthma and their carers."
Asthma medications are used to open up our airways. Right?
What this does it allows fine wood smoke particulates to go deep into the lungs and stay there!
This is absolutely not what we want!
Aerosols from wood burning (with carcinogenic toxins attached) are then known to cross over into our blood stream.
Tell your asthma organisation you don't want to be drugged....
Demand they lobby to stop deliberate wood smoke at the source.
24.11.2016 - Melbourne Thunderstorm Asthma:- 3 critical at least 4 dead
8,500 people presented to emergency departments on Monday and Tuesday
And we still get forestry deliberately inducing asthma in people!
COPD vs. Emphysema: What's the Difference?
Symptoms tend to worsen over time, especially if exposure to smoke is not eliminated.