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Int J Environ Health Res. 2006 Jun;16(3):181-91.

Air particulate pollution due to bushfires and respiratory hospital admissions in Brisbane, Australia.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


To examine the impact of bushfire smoke on hospital admission rates for respiratory disease, a time series study was conducted in Brisbane, Australia. Data on particles of 10 microns or less in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) per cubic metre, bushfire events, meteorological conditions, and daily respiratory hospital admissions were obtained for the period of 1 July 1997 to 31 December 2000. A generalized linear model with the negative binomial distribution was used to estimate the effects of bushfire smoke on respiratory hospital admissions. The results of this study show that daily respiratory hospital admission rates consistently increased with increasing levels of PM10 for both bushfire and non-bushfire periods. This relationship appeared stronger during bushfire periods than non-bushfire periods, especially for the current day. The findings suggest that bushfire smoke was statistically significantly associated with an increased risk of respiratory hospital admissions in Brisbane (p < 0.05). The health impact assessment needs to be considered in the control and management of bushfires.

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