AirSmart App provides live air quality information so that you can change your plans if pollution levels are high.
If you have asthma, this app is especially useful to plan your day or understand why you might be getting symptoms.
Our vision is for all Australians to understand air quality, breathe cleaner air, and know how to stay safe if the air around them becomes polluted. We want AirSmart to become part of your everyday life. Through this knowledge, we are certain people will be healthier.
The AirSmart campaign is about making sure those more sensitive to air pollution can take action to protect themselves. Sensitive groups include:
Asthma Australia is leading this national campaign because helping people to breathe better and live freely is at the centre of everything we do.
The urgent need for an air quality public education program became clear during the devastating 2019/2020 bushfires. During this period more than 400 deaths were attributed to bushfire smoke. After the fires, 12,000 people shared their experiences with us through a survey. The survey results showed the health advice during the bushfire crisis didn’t help people protect themselves against the smoke.
Later inquiries recognised the need for a national air quality public education campaign.
You can find out more about Asthma Australia’s motivation behind the AirSmart campaign, and our air quality advocacy here.
AirSmart aims to do for air quality what SunSmart has done for sun exposure: help people in Australia understand the health risks and know how to respond. The SunSmart example tells us this can’t be done in a year, but instead it needs to be a long-term project. Our first step is the AirSmart pilot campaign, in selected communities in early 2022. Once we’ve finished the pilot campaign, we’ll learn from how we went before rolling AirSmart out nationally.
We are grateful for the generous support and guidance from leaders in the public and environmental health space that have helped in the development of the AirSmart campaign.
The 2019/20 Australian bushfires were unprecedented in intensity, scale and duration. The bushfire smoke blanketed our cities and towns in toxic pollution for weeks on end. There was limited air quality data and health information did not consider people with health concerns that made them more sensitive to air pollution. The information also wasn’t consistent different parts of the country. This made it hard for people to protect themselves and their families from the smoke. The smoke affected people’s mental and physical health, ability to go to work and school, income, physical activity, participation in social and recreational activities.
Australia is not immune to the health consequences of air pollution. We need to build awareness around the hidden impacts of air pollution on health which affects Australian lives. There is no safe level of exposure to air pollution. People can have serious health effects even with low levels of air pollution – well below the extreme levels during the 2019-2020 bushfire crisis. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emitted from transport, mining and power generation in Australia contributes to over 2,600 deaths a year. This equates to around 39,000 years of life lost and an average annual economic burden of $6.2 billion.
For people with asthma, and other lung or heart conditions, the bushfire smoke was life threatening. Health modelling suggests smoke from the 2019-2020 bushfires caused
You can start being AirSmart right now by downloading the free AirSmart app (Android and IOS). Asthma Australia’s AirSmart app gives you the information you need to be more in control of the air you breathe when you’re out and about, in the palm of your hand.Learn more
We’d love to hear what you think of this campaign, your feedback on the AirSmart app and your experiences of air pollution in Australia.
This campaign is part of a broader program which includes working with government and other stakeholders to reduce exposure to air pollution and improve air quality. Your experience will assist us in this goal.