Health Hazard in our Suburbs: Clean Air community study

Clean Air Queensland (CAQ) today released the results of an air quality monitoring study that show alarming rates of pollution in Brisbane associated with dust from coal trains travelling to the Port of Brisbane.

The study - ‘Health Hazard in our Suburbs’ – shows coal train air pollution readings of 900 per cent above normal levels.

Exposure to particulate pollution is known to cause asthma, lung cancer and respiratory illnesses. The World Health Organisation has classified it ‘a carcinogen’.


This study was initiated and managed by the Clean Air Queensland (CAQ) alliance. The alliance was formed in July 2013 to respond to growing concern that communities living along the ‘coal dust corridor’ on the West Moreton rail line are exposed to elevated levels of particle pollution. Exposure to particulate pollution is known to cause a range of serious short-term and long- term health impacts.

The study was designed and conducted entirely by members of community groups. Experts and academics gave advice and assistance. Industry-standard equipment was used.  You can read the media release here.


The study undertook preliminary particle pollution monitoring at several sites at Wynnum, Fairfield and Morningside in order to ascertain the nature of pollution events from passing coal trains, including both empty and loaded wagons, in response to residents’ long-term pollution and health concerns.


Clean Air Queensland is a community alliance formed in response to concern about the impacts of coal dust on health. The alliance comprises individuals and community groups:

  • Clean Air Wynnum

  • Lock the Gate Alliance

  • Friends of the Earth

  • 6 Degrees

  • Oakey Coal Action Alliance

  • Rosewood District Protection Organisation

  • Parents Against Coal Dust

  • HOPE (Householders’ Options to Protect the Environment)

  • Doctors for the Environment

  • Stop Brisbane Coal Trains

  • Enviro Action Toowoomba


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