Bid for other air quality checks

CAUSTIC emissions from Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) may eventually be measured in the air, according to the Department of Environment and Resources Management (DERM).

DERM Regional Service Director Joe Pappalardo told The Observer yesterday that DERM is currently evaluating alternative monitoring methods for caustic and acid aerosols.

Ever since the release of the Human Health Risk Report on the state of Gladstone air quality a few weeks ago, many residents in South Gladstone have raised concerns regarding the emissions of QAL and the adverse health effects from living so close to the refinery.

South Gladstone residents have had their homes and vehicles windscreens pitted and paint work damaged due to the caustic emissions with QAL accepting most insurance claims.

At the time, the presenter of the report, Queensland Health Public Health physician Dr Margaret Young said the issue is the ability of some acid and caustic depositions, which affect things such as metals, has on human health.

“DERM has commissioned some work on acid and caustic emissions,” Dr Young said.

“That work is not completed as there were some difficulties along the way with that, so I guess there is still some further work to be completed.

Mr Pappalardo said once DERM has proven the monitoring methodology, caustic and acid monitoring will be conducted in the Gladstone community as part of the ongoing air monitoring program.



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