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The Australian: Coal, Oil & Gas are Health Hazards Open Letter

To the Australian Government

Coal, oil and gas are hazardous to our health and wellbeing.

They are the primary drivers of climate change(1), which is recognised as the single biggest health threat facing humanity by the World Health Organisation(2).

They cause hazardous air pollution(3,4), increasing the rates of asthma(5), heart disease(6), cancer(7), learning delays(8,9,10) and poor pregnancy outcomes(11,12).

To protect the health of the Australian people, we the undersigned health professionals call on our government to ban all new coal, oil and gas projects.

We must put the health of the people ahead of the interests of the fossil fuel industry.

1 Understanding climate change. Aust Govt, DCEEW. Accessed April 2024
2 Climate change and non communicable diseases; connections. WHO, posted 2 Nov 2023
3 Vohra K, Vodonos A, Schwartz J, Marais EA, Sulprizio MP, Mickley LJ Global mortality from outdoor fine particle pollution generated by fossil fuel combustion: Results from GEOS-Chem. 2021 Apr; 195;110754
4 Manisalidis I, Stavropoulou E, Stavropoulos A, Bezirtzoglou E. Environmental and Health Impacts of Air Pollution: A Review. Front Public Health. 2020 Feb 20;8:14. 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00014
5 Tiotiu AI, Novakova P, Nedeva D, Chong-Neto HJ, Novakova S, Steiropoulos P, Kowal K. Impact of Air Pollution on Asthma Outcomes. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep; 17(17):6212. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17176212
6 Rajagopalan S, Al-Kindi SG, Brook RD. Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease: JACC State-of-the-Art Review. J of Am Coll of Cardiology. 2018 Oct 23;72(17):2054-2070.
7 Turner MC, Andersen ZJ, Baccarelli A , Diver WR, Gapstur SM, Pope, CA, Prada D, Samet J, Thurston G, Cohen A. Outdoor Air Pollution and Cancer: An Overview of the Current Evidence and Public Health Recommendations. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020 Aug 25:10.3322 DOI: 10.3322/caac.21632
8 Perera F. Pollution from Fossil-Fuel Combustion is the Leading Environmental Threat to Global Pediatric Health and Equity: Solutions Exist. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jan; 15(1):16. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010016
9 Madaniyazi l, Jung CR, Ng CFS , Seposo X, Hashizume M, Nakayama SJ ,Early life exposure to indoor air pollutants and the risk of neurodevelopmental delays: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study. Env Int. 2022 Han, 158, 107004.
10 Sandie H, Air pollution and neurological development in children. Dev Med & Child Neur. 2020 Dec 9.
11Muacevic A and Adler JR. Effects of Pollution on Pregnancy and Infants. Cureus. 2023 Jan 15(1): e33906. 10.7759/cureus.33906
12 Aweke AM, Zewotir T, North D, Jenna P, Asharam K, Mutto, S, Tularam H, Naidoo RN. Impact of ambient air pollution exposure during pregnancy on adverse birth outcomes: generalized structural equation modeling approach. BMC Pulbic Health. 2023 Jan 06, 23, 45.

Open Letter published in The Australian on 12 June 2024


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