Air pollution in Newcastle, NSW, is so bad that it is equivalent to smoking a cigarette a day, according to a group of doctors who have called on the state government to take immediate action to protect local residents, especially children, reports Natalie O’Brien in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The SMH article comes after 24 doctors, including DEA members, wrote an open letter to Health Minister Jillian Skinner and the Environment Minister Mark Speakman, after the first year’s result from the EPA’s new air quality monitors in Newcastle showed three out of six sites had fine particulate matter (PM2.5) above the advisory standard of 8.0 ug/m3.
The monitors showed the average reading for Carrington was 8.2, Stockton 9.0 and central Newcastle 8.5 ug/m3.
The government is set to finalise the national standards for PM emissions by 31 December 2015.
However DEA’s Dr Ewald said in the SMH article that doctors want immediate action. High pollution levels were impacting on people with chronic lung disease and long-term exposure to pollution could lead to impaired lung growth in children.
The story was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 13 September 2015. You can read the full article HERE.