NSW Health has issued an urgent health warning for anyone with respiratory conditions living near the Surf Beach Tip.
Southern NSW Local Health District advises people with chronic respiratory conditions living in areas currently affected by smoke from the fire at the Surf Beach landfill to stay indoors if levels of smoke pollution increase.
The fire at the landfill may result in a large amount of smoke particles in the air, even great distances from the fire.
Director of Public Health, Tracey Oakman, warned that the health effects from breathing fire smoke varied between people, ranging from irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, to serious aggravation of existing lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema.
“Not everyone who is exposed to the smoke will have health problems and most healthy adults who experience symptoms will recover quickly and not suffer any long-term consequences,” Mrs Oakman said.
“However smoke pollution can affect people with lung disease for many days after smoke is inhaled. Therefore it is important people with respiratory conditions closely monitor their symptoms and take appropriate action as required.
"Asthma sufferers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should follow their action plans. If symptoms get worse, sufferers need to seek medical advice.
"People with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions should not engage in vigorous exercise and if possible should stay in air-conditioned premises, where filtration systems can help to reduce smoke particles in the air.
“Keep houses closed as much as possible when there is heavy smoke around and reduce your outside activity when smoke is evident,” Mrs Oakman said.