Journal article

Using digital technology to protect health in prolonged poor air quality episodes: A case study of the airrater app during the australian 2019–20 fires

SL Campbell, PJ Jones, GJ Williamson, AJ Wheeler, C Lucani, DMJS Bowman, FH Johnston

Fire | Published : 2020


In the southern hemisphere summer of 2019–20, Australia experienced its most severe bushfire season on record. Smoke from fires affected 80% of the population, with large and prolonged exceedances of the Australian National Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) recorded in all major population centers. We examined if AirRater, a free smartphone app that reports air quality and tracks user symptoms in near real-time, assisted those populations to reduce their smoke exposure and protect their health. We distributed an online survey to over 13,000 AirRater users to assess how they used this information during the 2019–20 bushfire season, and why it was helpful to aid decision..

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