Health alert as dust settles

NORTHERN Rivers residents like 18-year-old Amanda Smith followed the advice of health experts yesterday as the region was engulfed in the worst dust storm in decades.

Miss Smith, who stayed at home with the windows closed early in the day, erred on the side of caution when she had to venture into Ballina in the afternoon.

“I have quite a lot of allergies and a mild form of asthma. It's not comfortable breathing in clay dust,” she said.

Miss Smith said she probably wouldn't have bothered with the mask had she been in an air-conditioned shopping centre, but ducking in and out of shops she didn't want to cop a mouthful of dust.

The North Coast Area Health Service issued an alert yesterday urging people to stay indoors and limit physical activity due to the poor air quality.

Ambulance paramedics only treated two people in Lismore and one person in Mullumbimby for breathing problems.

Lismore Base and Ballina hospitals both treated one person with respiratory problems.



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