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Dangers of dust from Australian fires for NZ Public Health

Dangers of dust from Australian fires for NZ Public Health.

Monday, 6th January 2020.
Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre

Subject; “Dangers of dust from Australian fires for NZ Public Health”.

This ‘new decade of 2020 was mired by the arrival of dust particles from Australian fires that were carried by air borne deposition into our own NZ air shed, so what are the risks to NZ Public health now?.

To assume our lungs can breathe in dust and be medically o/k with the build-up and deposition of all sources of dust particulates inside our lower lung areas of our blood oxygen transfer areas, for our human health is implying very dangerous ideas that may harm the health of many here.

So we must treat further air pollution with a careful consideration here now since there is a potential increase of the dust from Australian fires to continue.

What are the reactions of the lungs to dust?

We use the literature from a senior Canadian agency overseas for this public health exercise; - “Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety”


The way the respiratory system responds to inhaled particles depends, to a great extent, on where the particle settles. For example, irritant dust that settles in the nose may lead to rhinitis, an inflammation of the mucous membrane. If the particle attacks the larger air passages, inflammation of the trachea (tracheitis) or the bronchi (bronchitis) may be seen.

The most significant reactions of the lung occur in the deepest parts of this organ.

Particles that evade elimination in the nose or throat tend to settle in the sacs or close to the end of the airways. But if the amount of dust is large, the macrophage system may fail. Dust particles and dust-containing macrophages collect in the lung tissues, causing injury to the lungs.

The amount of dust and the kinds of particles involved influence how serious the lung injury will be. For example, after the macrophages swallow silica particles, they die and give off toxic substances. These substances cause fibrous or scar tissue to form. This tissue is the body's normal way of repairing itself.”

Summary from CEAC;

We all now must avoid any localised increase of ‘traffic air pollution’ in future, as we have already heavily covered the ‘public health issues relating to truck transport air pollution increasing’ already in our urban communities around NZ.

Government must re-double their efforts to reduce use the truck transport and use rail instead to reduce the increasing air pollution from road freight transport.


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