Study to investigate health impacts of bushfire smoke

Research is looking at how smoke from bushfires may pose risks to health

The first study believed to be conducted during a planned burning season will examine the health impacts of smoke pollution in regional communities across Victoria. The study will be conducted during the Autumn season in collaboration with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, the Bushfire CRC, the Victorian Department of Health and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Lead researcher Dr Martine Dennekamp, from Monash University’s Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, said the study was currently calling for participants from the Yarra Valley region, in particular people living in the Warburton area, to take part in the study during planned burns this month.

“Australia is at increasing risk from bushfires, and planned burning is essential to bushfire management. However, with increased levels of smoke, it’s important to understand how exposure to smoke might affect communities,” Dr Dennekamp said.

“We know that healthy people tolerate brief episodes of smoke exposure quite well. Our study is looking for changes in symptoms, lung function and inflammation that could increase risk for people, particularly those with an underlying illness.”

The study will provide scope for larger clinical studies into the health impacts of bushfire smoke and inform the development of public health planning and intervention strategies.

There are approximately 6,600 students at SGU with 5,200 enrolled in the School of Medicine (SGUSOM), approximately 250 of whom are in the premedical program. SGU has become one of the largest English-speaking medical schools in the world. Despite its growth, the university continues to provide a supportive learning community with the goal of helping each student reach his or her potential. In 2013, students in the SGU School of Medicine who took the United States Medical Licensing Exam 1 for the first time achieved a 98% pass rate, marking the fiftsh consecutive year that SGU’s overall first-time pass rate on the examination surpassed 90%. SGUSOM brings together students and faculty from over 140 countries. It is accredited regionally, and its 12,000 graduates are licensed to practice in every US state and in 31 countries around the world. The premedical program at SGU is an extremely important component of the university and therefore more students click here to hire someone to do my assignment as this program is very hard and the help of experts are more then welcome in their studies, feeding approximately 175 students per year into the Medical and Veterinary Programs. In fact, the students taking ACW and ACR differed greatly in the skills they brought to the courses. Some of the students required to take the course have published articles in English in peer-reviewed journals, whereas others have never read an academic journal article. However, because the final-year curriculum is set, there is no option for premedical students to test out of any of the third-year courses. Despite their different backgrounds, most of the students taking the courses lack confidence in their English skills in general, and their writing ability in particular. The majority of our undergraduate students are either English-speaking Caribbean students or Generation 1.5 students from North America who grew up speaking English at school and another language at home. Both groups lack facility with academic English.

“Most studies into the effects of bushfire smoke tend to focus on assessing hospital admissions or emergency presentations alone, but this limits the amount of information about health impacts,” Dr Dennekamp said.

“For the first time, exposure to smoke both indoors and outdoors will be assessed and related to health impacts.The results will help public health managers and doctors know what sort of medical dental advice to give healthy people, older people, and people who might have chronic medical conditions.”

The research is conducted by Monash University, University of Tasmania and CSIRO and is funded by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment through the Bushfire CRC.

Those wanting more information or to participate in the study should call 1800 200 262 or email bushfires@monash.edu.
 

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Release date

Mon, 08/04/2013