News - May 2013

Everyone loves a wood-burning heater but is the harm worth it?

Wednesday May 29 A look at air pollution in Australia. Do we need to be worried?

What are you breathing?
May 29, 2013

Compared to some oversees cities Australian air seems pretty clean. But, we are learning more and more about the impact of air pollution on our health and there is increasing concern we're not doing enough to keep it that way.

On nightlife tonight we are exploring the health impacts of air quality with two expert guests. Joining Tony in the studio is Professor Guy Marks, an epidemiologist and respiratory physician with the Centre for Air Quality and Health Research and Evaluation. They'll also be joined by the president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Steve Hambleton.
Download as MP3 (approximately 19,182,912 bytes)

CAR Successful PhD Tops Up Students

Gayan Bowatte

Gayan Bowatte

My doctoral work focuses on the impact of exposure to traffic related air pollution (TRAP) and allergy and respiratory outcomes. I am conducting this work within the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS). Using TAHS data collected from 1968 to 2006 for a cohort of 8,500 participants. I will investigate both short term and long term effects of TRAP on respiratory and allergy symptoms, and lung function. I will also investigate the effect modifiers of these associations with a view to identifying high-risk groups for targeted interventions.

Wafaa Nabil Ezz

Wafaa Nabil Ezz

Wafaa Nabil Ezz is part of in the respiratory and environmental epidemiology group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. She has worked on several research studies since joining in 2006. Some of the studies include AQRHS, HUGHS, CAPS, ACHAPS, and UPTECH. She is mainly interested in air pollution and children’s health. She is currently conducting her PhD research that is focusing on two of the studies; the Health and Unflued Gas Heaters Study (HUGHS) and the Ultrafine Particles from Traffic Pollution and Children’s health Study (UPTECH).

Rachel Tham

Rachel Tham

Asthma is a significant public health problem worldwide and is a major cause of hospital admissions in children. Environmental factors such as air pollutants and aeroallergens play a major part in triggering asthma attacks but how they interact is unknown. My PhD research aims to investigate the role of outdoor fungal spores on children with asthma and whether air pollutants modify these associations. This study will contribute to better understanding of the importance of environmental factors in triggering asthma attacks in children and the findings may be directly translated into clinical and public health practice.

2013 CAR’s Senate Inquiry submission

2013 CAR’s Senate Inquiry submission: “ The impacts on health of air quality in Australia”

On 28 November 2012 the Senate referred to the impacts on health of air quality in Australia to the Senate Community Affairs Committees for inquiry and report.

Terms of reference

The impacts on health of air quality in Australia, including:

(a) particulate matter, its sources and effects;

(b) those populations most at risk and the causes that put those populations at risk;

(c) the standards, monitoring and regulation of air quality at all levels of government; and

(d) any other related matters.

Submissions were requested by 08 March 2013 and the team at CAR provided a submission to the inquiry which is attached here. Our members were also asked to give evidence at the public hearing. The reporting date is 26 June 2013.