Public health alert: Dust continuing over the ACT and surrounding region

ACT Health is advising people with hay-fever, asthma and other respiratory conditions to remain vigilant for exacerbations of their condition, with dust continuing over Canberra today.

Air quality monitoring is registering today’s air quality as poor, in particular in Tuggeranong, as a result of the dust.

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman, said some individuals may be more susceptible to air pollution and may feel the health effects of air pollution even when levels are low.

“People with asthma, hay fever or other respiratory conditions can be particularly sensitive to air pollution,” Dr Coleman said.

“With the dust currently over Canberra, we are reminding people that there are some simple things they can do to help manage their condition during these periods of increased risk.

“This is also a good reminder for Canberrans who suffer from asthma to make sure their treatment and action plans are up-to-date,” Dr Coleman said.

People can take the following precautions to help minimise health effects of dust and air pollution:

  • Stay indoors, with windows and doors closed;
  • Stay in air-conditioned premises if possible and switch the air-conditioner to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’ to reduce the amount of dust entering the building;
  • Avoid vigorous exercise, especially if you have a heart or lung condition;
  • Have their reliever available; and
  • If it is safe to do so, check on elderly neighbours or other people who you think might need extra help.

Anyone with a heart or lung condition should take their medication as prescribed by their doctor.

Anyone with concerns about their health should seek medical advice from their health practitioner, and anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness or difficulty breathing should seek urgent medical assistance. In the event of a medical emergency call 000.

For further information on managing your health during dust storms, visit:

For further information on weather conditions, visit:

Statement ends

Page last updated on: 27 Feb 2019