Air pollution alert issued for Sydney, temperatures expected to reach 45 degrees

By @shauryaarya1 on
Sydney weather
A sailing boat passes the Sydney Opera House as smoke from bushfires blankets the city November 2, 2013. Reuters/David Gray

Most of New South Wales is expected to experience a scorching summer ahead. Sydneysiders with respiratory conditions have been alerted for high levels of air pollution.

The air would be affected by a high level of ozone in the atmosphere, according to NSW Health. Those with respiratory conditions have been asked to take caution. The excessive ozone in the environment is as a result of scorching heat and pollution.

The ozone can potentially damage one’s lungs, causing chest pain, coughing and throat irritation. A colourless gas, it is created when nitrogen oxides from car exhausts and fumes from the air conditioner with oxygen. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ozone targets the eyes and respiratory system. It can also cause pulmonary edema and chronic respiratory disease.

There will be higher levels of ozone in western Sydney, according to Ben Scalley, director of NSW Health's Environmental Health Branch. "It's important that people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, follow their action plan and use their relieving medication if necessary," he said.

According to AAP, Sydney is likely to experience a temperature of 31 degrees on Tuesday. In the west, the mercury levels could go up to 37 degrees. The weather bureau says Wednesday could be immensely hot for inland NSW – the arrival of a heatwave could increase the temperature to scorching 45 degrees.

Scalley urged the parents of children suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorders to plan their outdoor playing when it’s cooler. “Ozone levels reach their peak around 7 pm in the evening and tend to be lowest in the morning, so it's best to plan outdoor play in the morning when the day is cooler,” he said.

As a result of high temperatures, there is also a growing risk of bushfires, according to The NSW Rural Fire Service. On Thursday, mercury levels could witness a much needed drop. A southeasterly is expected to arrive, decreasing the temperatures to 27 degrees in Sydney and 30 degrees in the west.