The Auckland Regional Health Service has released its latest advice after SkyCity's convention centre fire, which has been burning since yesterday afternoon.
They have published common questions they are being asked.
I live or work in the city, is there anything I can do?
If you work in the city and can stay away, please do so. If you have children attending early learning services in the city, please keep them at home.
If you live or work in the area of the smoke plume, you could consider leaving if you are experiencing discomfort from the smoke.
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If you live in the city and do not wish to leave your home, please keep out of the smoke as much as possible. Please stay inside with windows closed and air conditioning off. Talk to your building owner or business owner if you don't control your air conditioning.
If you are living in the area and you need to go outside, try to keep away from the smoke. This means staying well out of the plume if possible.
Should I wear a mask or a scarf?
Covering your mouth and nose will stop the larger particles, but won't keep out the fine particles of air pollution. Keep out of the smoke if you can.
I need to go outside – is there anything I can do?
Please stay out of areas where there is smoke.
How dangerous is the smoke to my health?
Air pollution caused by smoke can be dangerous to health over time, depending on the length and level of exposure. Low dose, short-term exposures, however, are unlikely to be harmful.
If exposure to the smoke causes shortness of breath, wheezing, triggers asthma symptoms or chest pain, see your doctor immediately or go to an Emergency Department.
In healthy people, most symptoms disappear soon after exposure to smoke ends and cause no long-term health problems.
Will breathing in this smoke have a long-term impact on my health?
Short-term exposures are unlikely to have harmful long term effects.
Who is most at risk of ill health from the smoke?
Babies and younger children, older people, those with respiratory or heart conditions, pregnant women and those who smoke are most at risk from smoke inhalation, and should avoid exposure.
My children are at an early childhood education centre in the city, is this dangerous?
The advice from the emergency management authorities is to stay out of the city centre, if at all possible.
I run an early learning service, what should I do?
If your service is in the smoke plume, you should not be operating. Early learning services outside the plume, but in the city centre, should also consider closing. If not, they should keep children inside. They should wipe down play equipment exposed to smoke.
What's in the smoke that I should worry about?
We are still awaiting analysis of the components of the smoke, but our advice is that people should avoid breathing it if possible. We know that smoke contains fine particulate matter and other pollutants that can have harmful health effects.
Where can I find more information?
Businesses and employers can visit the WorkSafe NZ website.
For information on waste water, air quality and buildings see Auckland Council.
For health advice please phone Healthline 0800 611 116.