Health effects of smoke from planned burning

Announcing our return to Warburton this autumn for the third year of the Planned Burns study.  We are looking for volunteers in the Warburton area who may be interested in participating in this study.

The Health effects of smoke from planned burning study is funded by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre and is being conducted by Monash University, the University of Tasmania and the CSIRO in collaboration with the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, the Victorian Department of Health and the Environment Protection Authority.

Exposure to smoke associated with both planned and unplanned fires is a frequent experience in many Australian communities, but there has not been much research about the community health impacts of smoke exposure. This study, the first of its kind, will measure exposure to smoke both indoors and outdoors to find out how this might influence the function of the lungs, heart and blood vessels.

Why participate?

The results from this study will allow potential risks from planned burning to be measured and be compared with the risks from severe bushfires.  It will help community members, land mnagers and health professionals protect community health and well-being during burn-offs.  It will also help public health managers and doctors know what sort of medical advice to give healthy people, older people and people who might have chronic medical conditions.

Who can participate in the study?

Community dwelling adults who live within areas targetted for planned burning during the 2015 autumn season are invited to participate.

What is involved?

Completing a health questionnaire and diary for the burn-off period.

Having some health measurements taken such as tests of heart and lung function, blood pressure and a blood test.

Bushfire in forest


To register your interest in participating in the study or if you have a question, please contact the study team on our free call number 1800 200 262 or email

Researchers and study team

Dr Martine Dennekamp

Prof Michael Abramson

Dr Fay Johnston

Dr Fabienne Reisen

Mr Tom O'Dwyer

Further information

View the study's flyer

View the Explanatory Statement

ABC Gippsland Interview, 9th April 2013

Related media

Article on the Government House Tasmania webpage, 12th June 2014
Malanka Lankaputhra's study is part of a broad study headed by Monash University and the Menzies Research Institute, investigating the cardiovascular and respiratory health impacts of bushfire smoke.  By using exposure to planned burns in rural Victoria as a model, Malanka's study is the first to consider the health impacts of any type of bushfire derived air pollution at an individual level.

Article in The Conversation, 19th Oct 2013

Article on SBS News Webpage, 20th Oct 2013

Article in ABC The Pulse, 21st Oct 2013

Interview on ABC Radio Gippsland, 27th Sept 2013

If you have a complaint concerning the manner in which the Health effects of smoke from planned burning study (Project Number: CF12/3097-2012001570) is being conducted, please contact:

Executive Officer
Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC)
Building 3e Room 111
Research Office
Monash University, VIC 3800
Tel: +61 3 9905 2052
Fax: +61 3 9905 3831