Dr Margaret Young.
Dr Margaret Young.

Breath of fresh air

GLADSTONE is breathing clean and healthy air, according to a Queensland Health report.

Released today, the Human Health Risk Assessment Report is the fourth and final Queensland Health report for the Clean and Healthy Air for Gladstone Project.

Queensland Health Public Health Physician Dr Margaret Young said a large number of pollutants were monitored at multiple sites across the Gladstone area. None was found to be at levels exceeding the relevant health-based standards or guidelines or otherwise pose unacceptable risks to health.

“We now have a very good understanding of the air quality in Gladstone. I hope the results of this review of extensive air quality monitoring help to allay the concerns of Gladstone residents,” Dr Young said.

Pollutants known to irritate the airways and lungs were all at levels well below health-based standards or guidelines.

Other pollutants such as metals, benzene and fluorides, are present at levels that are all below those recommended in health-based standards.

Independent reviewer Professor Brian Priestly, Director of the Australian Centre for Human Health Risk Assessment at Monash University, said the report has been well prepared and written in a way which looks at all the data very objectively.

“All the values that have been measured have come well within the health based standard,” he said.

Even though the report has been comprehensively and independently reviewed and verified, many Gladstone locals are sceptical.

Wendy Hatfield said Queensland Health should come to her house and see coal dust build up by the hour.

“The coal dust is a disgrace,” Ms Hatfield said. “You can run your finger in it and two hours later it’s black again.”

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