Myth busted

By ALLAN McNEIL allanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au FOR YEARS Gladstone residents have followed the line of thought that the level of local industry must result in increased health problems. Well it seems the "there's something in the air in Gladstone'' notion is little more than an urban myth. According to health statistics and professionals, Gladstone residents do not suffer any more health problems than anyone else in Queensland. Cancer was one that was always thought to be generated from our high level of industry. The Stuart Shale Oil plant has even been the target of health studies on its link to incidence of cancer. However figures released this week show that Gladstone's industrial make-up has no affect on cancer rates, with the number of cancer cases actually falling below the state average. "During the period 1998-2002 there was an average of 96 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year among Gladstone residents,'' a Queensland Health spokesperson said. "The Queensland average for a population of the same size and age as Gladstone is 98 new cases per year. "The data indicates that the incidence of cancer in Gladstone is not significantly different to the Queensland average.



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