Doctors, parents and farmers unite to protect health from coal dust

Tomorrow Clean Air Queensland will be launching their campaign for a Coal Dust Free Brisbane, with a public forum in Yeronga on the health impacts of coal dust.

Paediatric doctor Dr Merryn Redenbach will be speaking at the forum, along with Oakey landholder Peter Faulkner. Parents Marnie and Kerry will be attending to show their support and voice concern about their children’s health.

“The impacts of air pollution on health are documented by a huge body of international evidence.  Children are particularly vulnerable because their lungs are still developing and they breathe more air relative to their body size than adults,” said Dr Redenbach.

“Current monitoring data from Queensland EPA for dangerous fine and coarse particulate matter already indicate breaches in current standards. We are concerned that proposed coal mine expansions and increased rail movements will push air pollution above the safe limit,” Dr Redenbach said today, speaking on behalf of Doctors for the Environment Australia.

“In addition, a recent Senate committee recommended that current standards be tightened to reflect new international research suggesting there is no safe level exposure to particulate pollution.”

 “Today I have addressed health professionals at the Princess Alexandra hospital about the impact of pollution from coal dust. Rates of asthma, heart disease, respiratory diseases, and even cancer increase with greater exposure to particulate pollution,” Dr Redenbach said.

“Particulate pollution kills more people that car crashes each year in Australia. Thousands of children live and go to school along the coal dust corridor. We need better protection for our health, not more coal trains,” concerned parent Marnie Cotton said.

“The Coal Dust Free Brisbane campaign gives the community a chance to say no to coal dust in our suburbs. Through public forums, air quality monitoring and engaging community and health groups, we will work to get better protection for our health,” Clean Air Queensland spokesperson Hannah Aulby.

“Despite ongoing concerns from communities at Oakey and throughout the Darling Downs, the Queensland Government has not acted to protect our health from mining. We need lids on coal train wagons, and a commitment from the Government that it will not allow expansions on the rail line or port to continue,” Oakey resident Peter Faulkner concluded.

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