DEA has released new air pollution report this week, widely reported in the media. The study has shown that air pollution is actually worsening in parts of Sydney and NSW, despite government assurances that they take emissions regulations seriously. Following the release of the report which he authored Dr Ben Ewald writes – ‘Air quality is worse than ever in NSW and is "a steady drag" on the health of much of the population.’ Fine particles carry the greatest health burden, proven to cause death, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, type two diabetes and low birth weight for babies, and they are suspected of causing dementia. Read more...
In the Canberra Times – Dr Ben Ewald’s article “Our year of breathing dangerously: Sydney, Hunter pollution alert” was published 07/02/19.
Using the EPA's own monitoring data for 2018, the report notes the worst place for fine particle pollution was Liverpool at 10.1 µg/m3, which represents the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people in western Sydney. Other pollution hot spots include Chullora (8.6), Parramatta North (9.2), Prospect (8.5) and Muswellbrook (9.4). Other sites around NSW that exceeded limits were Carrington, Mayfield and Beresfield in the Lower Hunter, Muswellbrook, Singleton, Singleton north west, Camberwell, Maison Dieu, Mt Thorley, Warkworth in the Upper Hunter, as well as Wagga Wagga North and Tamworth
"Particulate air pollution should be the target of strict
regulation. The absence of a clean air strategy for NSW and lack of effective
action shows a clear failure of governance. The everyday sources of particle
air pollution: vehicles, coal mining, power stations, and wood burning heaters
are all amenable to regulation by a government prepared to heed the hard
evidence and tackle this problem."
The full article can be read here.
In the Sydney Morning Herald, published on February 7th, 2019, “The Sydney suburbs at risk from worsening air quality” available here.
Hundreds of thousands of people in parts of Sydney have been exposed to potentially dangerous levels of air pollution, Dr Ben Ewald said, while both coarse and fine particle air pollution has increased, the fine particle pollution is most damaging for people’s health, exacerbating a number of serious and very common diseases. "With air quality in the state worse than ever, the NSW government needs to do more to reduce pollution. The state needs a clean air policy and the current government is really failing to progress it," he said.
A third article - “Respected Upper Hunter doctor Robert Vickers believes Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network data alarming”, published In the Muswellbrook Chronicle on Feb. 8th can be read here.
Dr Vickers says there has been a gradual increase in air pollution in the regions, contributing to heart disease, stroke, deaths, diabetes, low birth weight babies, restricted lung growth in children, lung cancer in non-smokers, asthma and emphysema.The decline in air quality threatens the health of hundreds of thousands of Sydney residents, particularly in the city’s west.
Dr Ben Ewald said that despite government review processed, little has been done to slow the trend of worsening air quality. And Dr John van der Kallen said that “the cumulative impacts of mining and transport of coal are being seen in deterioration of air quality. Worsening air quality has occurred at the same time as an increase in electricity production from coal fired power stations.”
Lastly, “Sydney’s ‘deteriorating’ air quality: Pollution levels above national standards” – was published 9news.com.au on February 8th, 2019. See the video clip Channel nine for Today and read the full article here.