Local residents in Newcastle have for years been complaining about air quality from diesel vehicles and locomotives, domestic wood heating, and coal fired power stations even though these are 30 to 95 kilometres away. Dr Ben Ewald writes that the expansion of air pollution monitoring in Newcastle, with three new sites established at Mayfield, Carrington and Stockton four years ago, reveals disturbing results.
Particulate matter in air pollution adversely affects human health.
Course particles are associated with respiratory disease and a small increase in lung cancer risk in non smokers. The smaller particles have more serious health effects, including increased rates of heart disease, stroke, and low birth weight babies and the standard is for the annual average to be below 8ug/cubic metre.
Doctors for the Environment Australia calls on the NSW minister for the environment, Gabriellle Upton, to pay attention to serious breaches of environmental standards, and to ensure that people in Newcastle suburbs have as clean air as those in her electorate of Vaucluse.
Dr Ben Ewald is a member of Doctors for the Environment Australia
Read the full article in the Newcastle Herald, 17 October 2018
Image credit: Frank Bergmann