Increased dust levels in the ACT

The ACT Health Directorate’s air quality monitoring stations are currently registering increased levels of dust particles, which is impacting on the air quality in some parts of Canberra, in particular in Civic and on the Southside. 

The poor air quality is expected over the next few hours and will return to normal levels as the evening progresses.

People who may be more sensitive to dust in the air, particularly people with asthma and other lung conditions, should take precautions to avoid an exacerbation of their condition.

The most common symptoms are irritation to the eyes, throat and skin. However people who are more sensitive to dust may experience difficulty breathing, so avoiding exposure where possible is recommended.

People can take the following precautions to minimise health impacts of dust including:

  • staying indoors with windows and doors closed,
  • staying in air-conditioned premises and switching the air-conditioner to ‘recycle’ or ‘recirculate’ to reduce the amount of dust entering the building, and
  • avoiding vigorous exercise, especially if you have a heart or lung condition.

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 triple zero 000.

ACT Health Directorate will continue to monitor the air quality in the ACT and will advise the public if additional public health advice is warranted.

For further information, refer to our dust fact sheet:

Page last updated on: 14 Oct 2019