Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 9, September 2009

Bushfires and human health in a changing environment

Fay H Johnston
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Bushfires are an integral part of the Australian environment. While the immediate health impacts of these fires can be devastatingly obvious, there are many other serious aspects of bushfires that remain less well understood. A holistic perspective of bushfires is essential for minimising harm and ensuring public safety in an environment that is becoming increasingly conducive to major bushfire catastrophes. This review summarises the current evidence about the immediate health risks of bushfires and the special health needs of survivors. It also looks at the health risks of smoke haze and other environmental hazards associated with bushfires.

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